Importance of Fluoride: Protecting Your Teeth From Decay

by | May 2, 2024 | Dentistry, Preventive, Sekhon Dental, Smile | 0 comments

You must have seen all toothpaste ads mentioning that they contain fluoride. Dr. Sekhon, dentist at Sekhon Dental – Dentist Agoura Hills, also suggest using fluoride-based toothpaste for dental hygiene. But what is fluoride, and how does it protect your teeth from decay.?

This article covers everything about fluoride in tooth cleaning and preventive care.

What is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps fight cavities and reduce the risk of tooth decay. It is added to drinking water to strengthen teeth, as its effectiveness was proved in the 1930s.

The American Dental Association (ADA) also endorses fluoride as “nature’s cavity fighter,” describing its effectiveness in improving dental health.

Is Fluoride Safe?

Fluoride is a safe mineral when consumed in appropriate amounts. However, taking too much fluoride can lead to dental fluorosis in children. The condition causes white spots or brown discoloration on teeth. Thus, Sekhon Dental – Dentist Agoura Hills suggests supervising your kids when they brush their teeth to ensure they do not swallow the toothpaste.

How does Fluoride Work?

Fluoride helps re-mineralize your teeth after demineralization. The demineralization occurs due to acids released by bacterial activity. The acid damages the enamel on the teeth and eventually leads to tooth decay. Thus, fluoride replenishes the phosphate and calcium ions that strengthen your teeth.

How to Use a Fluoride Toothpaste in Preventive Cleaning?

Make sure to follow the following guidelines when using fluoride toothpaste:

  • Maintain a healthy brushing routine by encouraging your kids to brush twice daily
  • Choose the right toothbrush with a fluoride tooth for dental hygiene
  • Avoid toothpaste use in children less than 17 months
  • Use fluoride toothpaste for children over 6
  • Children should not use more than a ‘pea-sized’ amount of low-fluoride toothpaste

Can Mouthwash with Fluoride Prevent Cavities?

Besides toothpaste, fluoride mouthwash is also helpful in preventive care. Mouthwashes with fluoride strengthen teeth and make them resistant to decay. However, it is not advised to add mouthwash to the dental cleaning regimen of children under 6 unless recommended by a dentist.

Other Ways to Use Fluoride for Dental Care

If you do not live in an area with fluoridated water, you might need fluoride treatment from your dentist to prevent cavities. The dentist may apply fluoride to your teeth or prescribe tablets, liquid drops, or lozenges to children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years.

Book your appointment at Sekhon Dental – Dentist Agoura Hills today to discuss fluoride treatments for your dental needs.

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