Enamel the outer layer of the crown of a tooth is made of closely packed mineral crystals.
Enamel is a very important part of the tooth, it is a protective layer made up of very dense mineral crystals. Everyday some enamel is lost due to a process called demineralization, this happens when plaque releases a acidic byproduct that harms the teeth. Luckily your body naturally tries to fight back against demineralization and attempts to try to restore this destructive process. This is done through minerals in the saliva, such as fluoride, calcium and phosphate, are deposited back into the enamel.
The reality is that your body probably will not be able to fully combat the effects of demineralization without some help. Too much loss of minerals without enough replacement leads to tooth decay. Fluoride helps in two ways. When children drink fluoride in small doses, it enters the bloodstream and helps to build strong permanent teeth; also fluoride can strengthen teeth from the outside, when it comes into contact with the teeth. When teeth are strengthened with fluoride, it makes it harder for the acids to erode the enamel of the teeth.
Fluoride is all around us, it is in foods and used as a supplement in some drinking water. This helps benefit the tooth development in people younger than 16. Topical fluorides are also available in many dental tooth pastes or rinses. While you are only using the fluoride for a short time, the elevated levels of fluoride levels last for hours after.
When you go to the dentist professional fluoride treatments are given. They are applied as a varnish, foam, or gel. When the dentist applies fluoride to your teeth, it is in a much higher concentration than over-the-counter treatments.
In certain cases special fluoride concentrations are prescribed to children who live in areas where fluoride is not added to the drinking water. Normally these supplements will be given to children between the age of 6 months to 16 years old.
Fluoride supplements should be given if your drinking water is not fluoridated. They are available in liquids and tablets. Your dentist or your pediatrician will need to prescribe them to you.
Is it Harmful
Fluoride is safe if it is used in safe dosages, but in heavy dosages it can be harmful, so it is important to monitor the fluoride levels if you are using it in your home. City water is constantly monitored to maintain save fluoride levels.
It’s not just what you eat that affects your oral health: It’s also how you eat it. According to the American Dental Association, following a few key tips can make a big difference in preventing decay. To protect your teeth, consider doing the following:
• If you’re going to eat sugary candies or foods, do it during a meal. The saliva produced while eating a full meal will help neutralize any damaging acids and rinse any lingering particles from your teeth.
• It’s better to eat foods that contain starches or sugars all at once, rather than gradually throughout the day. Each time a person eats these foods, harmful acids attack the teeth for at least 20 minutes.
• Chew sugarless gum after snacks to help increase saliva flow and minimize the potential for decay.
• Drink water with fluoride: Most public water sources contain this important additive, but be sure to check your bottled water, as well. Consuming fluoride can help prevent tooth decay.
By following these simple suggestions, you can help protect your teeth from the damage caused by foods and drinks. Talk to a dentist on your True Care Advantage plan to learn more about ways to prevent cavities, particularly when it comes to your children. Taking these crucial steps now could save you valuable time and money in the future.
Many health experts recommend drinking eight to 10 glasses of water each day. But the type of water you drink may have an impact on your teeth. According to the American Dental Association, more and more Americans are drinking bottled water, which typically does not contain the recommended amount of fluoride, a mineral that helps prevent tooth decay. In most cases, bottled water is purified through a process of reverse osmosis or distillation. While this helps improve the taste, it also removes all the naturally occurring fluoride from the water. The same goes for at-home water purification filters in your fridge or attached to your faucet.
Most tap water, on the other hand, contains fluoride added by the city to help keep its residents healthy. The ADA recommends checking your bottled water packaging for its fluoride content. If it is not shown, contact the company and ask for the exact level. In order to help prevent tooth decay, water should contain at least .7 parts per million of fluoride (1 ppm = 1 mg/L). If you discover that your bottled water does not have enough fluoride, consider your daily routine to determine if you can get it from another source. Do you use purified or tap water when cooking? Do you drink city water at work or school?
If you have concerns, talk to a dentist on your True Care Advantage plan. The dentist will evaluate your teeth and help you decide the correct amount of fluoride needed for optimal oral health.
Researchers at Sweden’s University of Gothenburg have discovered a simple shortcut that can help you protect your teeth. As reported by ScienceDaily, researchers studied the effects of high-fluoride toothpastes and determined that people who used their finger to rub the toothpaste onto their teeth in lieu of a third daily brushing had equally healthy teeth as those who brushed their teeth three times a day.
This helpful rubbing technique can give you a boost of fluoride after lunch or during the work day. But regardless of whether you choose to use the massage method, it is important to expose your teeth to fluoride three times a day, the researchers found. They tested people who used either high-fluoride or standard toothpastes, and brushed either three times a day or twice a day. Those who brushed three times a day with high-fluoride toothpaste had four times better protection than those who brushed twice a day with regular toothpaste.
This is important because fluoride has been shown to combat and prevent tooth decay, particularly in people whose teeth are at higher risk. To learn more about the positive effects of fluoride, talk to a dentist on your True Care Advantage plan. He or she can give you toothpaste recommendations and help you evaluate your brushing habits.
Fluoride is often touted for its smile-saving benefits, but too much fluoride in early childhood can actually damage a child’s teeth. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, fluorosis occurs when a child is exposed to high amounts of fluoride while their teeth are still developing, resulting in tooth enamel defects.
Mild cases of fluorosis are characterized by white streaks or specks on the tooth, while severe cases can cause brown discoloration. In such severe cases, the enamel may be rough and difficult to clean. AAPD suggests that children may develop fluorosis in several ways, including by swallowing fluoridated toothpaste, taking too much of a fluoride supplement, or taking a supplement when there is sufficient amounts of fluoride in their drinking water. The necessary amount of fluoride varies according to an individual child’s size and weight.
Although it may be tempting to cut out fluoride altogether, remember that in the proper amounts, fluoride is very important to a child’s oral health. Instead, contact a pediatric dentist through your True Care Advantage plan to talk about the optimal fluoride levels for your child. A dentist can assist you in determining the current level of fluoride in your drinking water and inform you if it would be wise to give your child an additional supplement. At home, be sure to watch your children carefully when they brush their teeth and teach them to spit out toothpaste instead of swallowing. Simple steps like these can help you protect your child’s smile for years to come.