Your smile says a lot about you. It’s a reflection of your mood, a glimpse into your personality, and even a sign of your health. Numerous scientific studies have determined that there are correlations between your oral health and your overall body health. This is why it’s so important to protect your smile. While brushing and flossing will remain absolute musts in maintaining good oral health, fluoride rinses are proving to be another useful line of defense. In this article, we’ll explore what fluoride is, how it works, and the many benefits it offers.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral found in water, soils and some foods. Fluoride is an essential to the development and maintenance of healthy teeth. A study conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) in 2012 found that 91 percent of adults in the United States had evidence of tooth decay in permanent teeth. This is precisely why fluoride is so important. If you incorporate fluoride into your regular cleanings, you can drastically reduce the amount of cavities you receive, all while promoting better overall oral hygiene.
How Does Fluoride Work?
Fluoride acts as a protective layer against the effects of all the bacteria found in the mouth.The enamel surfaces of our teeth are in a nonstop state of flux. The calcium and phosphate minerals that comprise enamel are constantly attacked and broken down by acids created from bacteria in the mouth (a process called demineralization). Simultaneously, the same minerals are reabsorbed into the enamel (remineralization).
When fluoride comes into contact with teeth, it interacts with acid created by the bacteria and rebuilds the enamel on the teeth. Without help from fluoride, the enamel breaks down, leaving your teeth vulnerable.
Where Can You Get Fluoride?
Fluoride is a natural substance produced in saliva. The fluoride found is saliva acts as the first line of defense against changes in pH of the mouth. But because this occurs mostly when sugary substances like soft drinks are ingested, it is recommended that you get fluoride from additional sources.
Fluoride is present in most water sources, but according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the concentration of the mineral in water is not enough in itself to prevent tooth decay.
The majority of water bottled in the United States contains fluoride. But this fluoride does not occur naturally; it is added during the manufacturing process. FDA regulations only require bottled water manufacturers to list fluoride on the ingredients label if it is added during production. And according to the Center for Chronic Disease Prevention, most bottled waters that say they contain an optimal amount of fluoride usually contain a significantly less amount.
Sodium fluoride is the most common form of fluoride added to toothpaste. The fluoride in toothpaste is considered to be the only nonprescription additive directly related to the prevention of dental decay. So if you’re looking to increase your fluoride intake at home, it’s best to use toothpaste that contains fluoride.
What Are the Benefits of Fluoride Rinse?
When you go for dental cleanings, your dentist will often suggest a fluoride rinse. This is a brief, but extremely beneficial part of cleaning your teeth. Multiple studies have shown that rinsing with fluoride can help prevent cavities, and, in some case, reverse the depletion of enamel on the teeth. Fluoride is also recommended for children, so long as they rinse with fluoride while being supervised by their dentist.
To Rinse or Not to Rinse?
The CDC recommends fluoride for the prevention of dental decay. When used appropriately, fluoride is a safe and effective agent that can be used to prevent and control dental caries. Fluoride contributes profoundly to the improved dental health of everyone who uses it. If you’re concerned that you’re not getting enough fluoride to your teeth, and you’re ready to experience a higher standard of dental care in a friendly environment, contact Ideal Dental Solutions today to book an appointment.