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Downtown Calgary Dentist – Dr. Rhemtulla – at Centennial Smiles wants patients to understand that fluoride is not something to be feared or avoided, and that including a monitored amount in a daily oral health routine provides numerous benefits to a person’s smile.
Fluoride has had a bad rap over the years – resulting in a reputation that raises mixed feelings and leaves patients wondering if fluoride has any oral health benefits.
Anyone who has their natural teeth can benefit from a little fluoride. Fluoride chemically strengthens teeth by preventing demineralization of the enamel. Enamel is the hard, outer tissue of a tooth, designed to protect the softer, more vulnerable, inner tissues. When enamel is strong it becomes more resistant to breakdown by acids – and the risk of forming dental cavities is reduced. Over the years fluoride has been a key player in the decline of dental caries – helping control the way a tooth absorbs and loses minerals. Using a pea-sized amount of fluoride with daily brushing exposes teeth to this valuable protector – and can subtly shift the balance in favor of preventing decay.
Dr. Rhemtulla at Centennial Smilesexplains that some patients are at greater risk for dental decay than others – and though it may be a family trend to ‘have soft teeth’ there is usually an underlying reason for the tendency to develop cavities – and the reasons can range from:
A Diet high in Simple Carbohydrates – if you eat a lot of sugar you are giving oral bacteria exactly what they want – sustenance. Bacteria feed off sugars and in the process release acids that erode tooth enamel and cause decay. A low sugar diet reduces the amount of acids produced.
Poor Oral Hygiene – we hate to break it to you, but if you’re just not brushing and flossing daily you can expect to develop cavities. Not brushing not only enables level of plaque and bacteria to accumulate but it also limits the amount of exposure teeth have to fluoride.
Dry Mouth and Medications – taking certain medications can limit the flow of saliva – a natural cleanser of tooth surfaces. Dry mouth presents an environment that is perfect for acids to take over and dental decay to form. Using a fluoridated rinse can help protect teeth.
There a numerous reasons for a patient’s risk of developing decay – from tooth defects to a natural propensity for oral bacteria. But the solution to preventing decay and keeping teeth strong is effective oral hygiene and controlled exposure to fluoride, either with a fluoridated toothpaste or rinse, or through fluoride treatments received at your dental appointments.
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