If you care about the health of your smile, you probably actively seek toothpaste, dental floss, and mouthwash containing fluoride. However, many people wonder how much this naturally occurring mineral helps their teeth. Here is a little more information about what fluoride is and why dentists recommend it to prevent periodontal disease.
What Is Fluoride?
As one of the most common elements present in the Earth’s crust, water picks up fluoride as it passes through rivers and streams. For this reason, every natural water source on Earth is rich in fluoride. Unfortunately, this element is stripped away during the water purification process, which is why many cities fluoridate their local water supplies. The discovery of fluoride and the addition of fluoride to water supplies is considered one of the most crucial events in dental care history since fluoride protect against tooth decay.
Dentists and the American Dental Association — ADA — recommend the use of fluoride products, particularly toothpastes and mouthwashes. However, dentists can also offer special in-office treatments such as fluoride varnishes and sealants to further protect against decay.
How Does Fluoride Protect Against Periodontal Disease?
When fluoride is ingested as the teeth are growing, it helps the teeth create a stronger type of dental enamel called fluorapatite. However, fluoride also wards off tooth decay in older kids, adults, and the elderly by strengthening dental enamel microscopically.
When dental enamel is exposed to fluoride, the mineral attracts other substances like calcium, strengthening the teeth. New research has even found that fluoride makes the surfaces of the teeth more slippery, making it harder for bacteria to take root. When bacteria can’t grab onto the teeth easily, and the dental enamel is strong enough to resist erosion, the formation of periodontal disease becomes less likely.
Whether you have questions about your existing dental care routine or your kids are due for a deep fluoride treatment, the team at Nayaug Family Dental can help. In addition to offering various preventative dental care services, this dentist also helps patients with various restorative and cosmetic procedures designed to improve the health and appearance of your smile. To learn more about their practice, visit their website or call (860) 633-6167.