If you are interested in optimizing your daily dental routine, then our O’Fallon dentists are here to help with some useful information on one important ingredient: fluoride. Learn more about why fluoride is so important, and how you can incorporate it into your routine.
Get The Facts
Fluoride is a mineral that is naturally found in a number of natural elements including soil, rocks, air, and water. Fluoride is beneficial for humans because it helps to re-mineralize or strengthen dental enamel.
Throughout the day and night dental enamel is de-mineralized due to exposure to bacteria and acidic substances. Fluoride helps your teeth counteract this de-mineralization. Because fluoride is so important to oral health, our drinking water in the United States are further enriched with fluoride.
Ways To Get Fluoride
You’re off to a good start with your fluoride intake if you are cleaning your smile as recommended by your dental team, and you’re drinking tap water. You can also take a look at your toothpaste; if it is formulated for adult-use, then it probably contains fluoride. There are also a number of over-the-counter mouth rinses available that include fluoride.
If your dental team determines that you could benefit from additional fluoride applications, they may recommend a dentist-prescribed topical gel or mouth rinse. These products are more potent than over-the-counter options, and they do more to aid enamel re-mineralization.
You do want to be mindful about using fluoridated products with pediatric patients who are young enough to still swallow toothpaste. If a young child ingests too much fluoride, they may develop dental fluorosis; a condition in which permanent teeth develop with discoloration and textural irregularities. This is why very young dental patients are encouraged to use fluoride-free formulas. If you need help figuring out when your child should start using fluoride, we’re here to help!
Taking care of your smile doesn’t have to be confusing or stressful. Our O’Fallon dentists can help you choose the right products and oral hygiene tools for you. Contact our team by calling our office, or by using the Contact Us page on our site to get started!