The Fundamentals of Fluoride

Welcome, Houston! Antoine Dental Center is back again with a blog entry to help you keep your mouth and body healthy. Tooth decay and gum disease are a threat to your overall health, not just your oral health. And the best way to treat any health problem is to prevent it from ever happening. That’s why we are going to focus on the power of preventive care and the importance of fluoride.

Fluoride has been proven to be a valuable ally in the struggle against tooth decay and gum disease. Tooth decay can only happen when your tooth enamel loses important minerals.
Fluoride aids your body in using calcium and phosphate to replace those minerals in a process called “remineralization”. Fluoride is so fundamental to this process that people who are lacking fluoride commonly suffer from tooth decay.

In one of our earlier blogs, we wrote about the current rise in tooth decay as a result of bottled water that does not contain fluoride. Americans more or less depend on the fluoride from public water sources to keep combat cavities, and without it you are much more likely to suffer the ravages of tooth decay. If you would rather not get fluoride from your water source, for whatever reason, then you need to make sure you are getting it elsewhere.

The Power of Fluoride

There is a bacteria called dental caries that resides in your mouth, and when you eat sugar, this bacteria converts it into acid. This acid will eat away at your enamel, demineralizing it, thus causing tooth decay. Luckily, fluoride is particularly good at stopping, or at least significantly slowing this process.

Fluoride will form a thin barrier over your teeth that will slow the dental caries ability to convert sugar to acid. This will give your mouth enough time to produce saliva, which will neutralize the acid and then wash away the sugar and any food debris that would continue to feed the dental caries.

Not only will fluoride stop decay from occurring, it will also help repair your enamel. The process of remineralization, which we mentioned above, repairs the damage your enamel sustains from dental caries and acid. Fluoride helps your body to process calcium, so it can be used to fortify and strengthen your enamel, effectively stopping, and in some cases reversing, the effects of tooth decay.

Ingesting fluoride helps to develop strong enamel when your teeth are coming in that is why it is important for children to get plenty of fluoride. Having stronger more effective enamel will make them less likely to get tooth decay later in life.

Fluoride and Preventive Care

Aside from fluoridated water, which has been standard practice in this country since the 1950s, there are several ways to get the fluoride you need to protect your teeth.

Toothpaste and Mouthwash – The only value these dental care products add to your preventive care routine, aside from fresh smelling breath, is their fluoride content. Brushing your teeth and using mouthwash are probably your most common oral hygiene activities, so it is incredibly import that you make sure your dental care materials contain fluoride. Otherwise, they aren’t doing much to help you prevent tooth decay.

Fluoride treatments – One way to make sure your enamel is getting enough exposure to fluoride to get a fluoride treatment from Antoine Dental Center the next time you come in for a cleaning. A fluorides treatment will put concentrated fluoride directly on your teeth, strengthening your teeth, so you will be far less likely to experience tooth decay.

Visit Our Office in Houston, TX

Preventive care, like fluoride treatments and professional cleanings, is something we like to focus on at Antoine Dental Center. If you can stop problems before they arise, your oral health will be a boon rather than a burden. Be sure to make regular visits to our office for checkups that will keep your teeth healthy and strong.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment.