The use of fluoride in dentistry is considered by the Canadian Dental Association to be one of the most successful preventative health care measures ever undertaken. Careful scientific study has demonstrated that the use of fluoride is a very safe and effective way of preventing numerous dental health issues.
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally throughout the world. It is found in both fresh and saltwater, and in many of the foods that we consume on a daily basis. Some of the common sources of fluoride include:
- Drinking fluoridated water
- Beverages and foods that contain fluoride water
- Prescription supplements with fluoride
- Mouth rinses, gels, and foams
So how does this one mineral do so much for our oral health? Let’s find out from your dentists in South Edmonton.
How Fluoride Protects Our Teeth
There are a few different levels to the relationship between fluoride and oral health. The relationship is not entirely understood, but there is quite a lot that we do know. One of the main ways that fluoride helps to prevent cavities and tooth decay is by strengthening the protective coating of enamel on our teeth, which makes it more resistant to caries. The enamel is then better able to fend of acid attacks by harmful bacteria. On top of strengthening enamel, fluoride also makes it more difficult for this bacteria to produce acid in the first place.
There are numerous, lifelong dental health benefits to be had from having sufficient levels of fluoride available to the teeth during early childhood development. Fluoride is known to have the ability to alter tooth enamel while it develops during the first seven years of life, making it stronger and more resistant to acid. Fluoride also appears to reduce the depths of the grooves in the surfaces of teeth, creating fewer spaces for plaque to settle and grow.
Incorporating Fluoride into Your Cleaning Routine
The best way to incorporate fluoride into your daily cleaning routine is to use fluoride-containing toothpaste or a fluoride rinse. Children can sometimes take prescription fluoride supplements as well. However, this is not recommended by many health care professionals unless the patient has little to no exposure of topical or systemic fluoride.
Dental professionals can determine if you and the rest of your family are getting enough fluoride, and they usually also provide fluoride treatment during dental cleanings. The types of fluoride treatments that are provided during dental cleanings are topical fluorides (either gels or varnishes), which is a preventative measure for patients who have may have a moderate or high risk of cavities.
If you’re looking for an experienced family dentist that provides expert fluoride and cleaning treatments in South Edmonton, then come visit us at the Saddleback Dental Centre. Our team of dental professionals can help make sure that you and your children are getting the right levels of fluoride to maintain good oral health. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment with your dentist in South Edmonton!