The Role Of Fluoride In Protecting Teeth From Decay

A research study conducted by Public Health England into the effects of fluoridated water has shown that children with access to a fluoridated water supply were less likely to experience tooth decay: 15 percent fewer five-year olds suffered from tooth decay as did 11 percent fewer 12-year olds. Another positive outcome was that there were 45 percent fewer children (aged one to four) admitted to hospital for tooth decay.

With such positive findings reported, it may be useful to delve a little deeper into the role played by fluoride in protecting teeth. Fluoride is a natural mineral found to have protective benefits against tooth decay which is why it is so commonly found in many dental products including toothpastes and mouthwashes.

Tooth decay remains a top dental problem despite the problem being one of the most preventable oral health issues. Tooth decay is the result of acids in the mouth aided by bacteria that causes destruction to tooth tissue. The prevalence of acids in the mouth is more frequent the more a patient exposes themselves to sugary and acidic foods and drinks. If a patient does not seek regular professional dental care from a dentist in Stevenage they are at risk of developing cavities which would ultimately lead to loss of teeth.

How does fluoride work?

Fluoride acts as a barrier against acid attacks, enhancing the enamel’s resistance to the formation of cavities. The mineral also helps in rebuilding or remineralising teeth, thereby strengthening the enamel. When teeth come into contact with acids in the mouth, the pH balance in the mouth may change, heightening the danger of cavities. Introducing fluoride into the mouth re-activates the strengthening and resistance of teeth.

What are the most common sources of fluoride?

The Role Of Fluoride In Protecting Teeth From Decay

There are many dental products available today with which patients can increase the exposure of their teeth to fluoride to protect them better.

Using fluoride toothpastes

This is by far the easiest route to using fluoride. It is always best to check first with a dental practitioner on which fluoride toothpaste brands are best to use. Different brands will contain different levels of fluoride.

Mouthwash and rinses

A mistake made by patients is to use the mouthwash immediately after brushing their teeth. This only works to wash away the fluoride contained in the toothpaste. It may be a better idea to use a mouthwash at a different time convenient to the patient.

In-clinic fluoride treatment

Professional fluoride treatments usually comprise higher levels of fluoride compared to products that are bought off the shelf. These need to be administered by a professional dental practitioner.

Use a fluoride supplement

Fluoride supplements may be recommended for children up to 16 sixteen years of age and one needs a prescription to purchase them. These supplements can be found in a number of forms including drops, lozenges and pills.

Find out more about how fluoride can strengthen teeth’s defence against cavities and tooth decay or speak to a dental practitioner at Smilecraft dental clinic about which fluoride products would be best to use.

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