Chances are that you’ve heard of fluoride’s benefits to your oral health. After all, the mineral can be found in most major toothpaste brands and other dental hygiene products, and has been added to United States municipal water supplies since the mid-1900s. If you’ve ever been at risk for tooth decay, your dentist may have even recommended topical fluoride treatments to strengthen your teeth’s natural defense. So how did a seemingly obscure mineral become a staple of today’s dental hygiene? Your Southlake dentists, Drs. Wright and Heron, explain how fluoride strengthens your teeth by exploring how the mineral interacts with your tooth structure.
Your Tooth Enamel’s Best Friend
The key to fluoride’s success lies in the structure of your teeth’s natural layer of protection, called enamel. The strongest substance that your body produces, enamel is formed by incredibly strong strands of mineral crystals. While your tooth structure, including enamel, cannot repair or rebuild itself when damaged, enamel can regain its strength when weakened by absorbing more minerals. When oral bacteria consume sugar and starches and convert them to acid, the acid depletes essential minerals from your teeth and weakens your enamel. Without proper daily care and maintenance, your enamel can eventually develop small holes and become too weak to repel bacterial infection. In minimal amounts, fluoride can bind to your tooth enamel, strengthening it against acid attacks and reducing your risk of developing tooth decay.
Only Part of a Good Hygiene Routine
While fluoride can help improve your dental hygiene, keeping your teeth clean and healthy depends on brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day, as well as regular dental checkups and cleanings once every six months (or sooner, if recommended). Be sure your toothpaste includes fluoride, as well as the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance on its packaging. If your teeth feel sensitive, then ask Dr. Wright or Dr. Heron if fluoride treatments can help you during your next checkup.
ABOUT YOUR SOUTHLAKE DENTISTS:
As a native Texan, Gregory Wright, DDS, opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.