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It can’t be denied that Fluoride doesn’t always get a good rap – especially when it comes to dental health and the question ‘Do You Need Fluoride?’ But the reality is Fluoride plays an important role in the fight against dental decay and when used appropriately can contribute to a healthy smile.
Fluoride is a big hitter when it comes to protecting teeth against the ravages of dental decay and has been proven to lower the incidence of decay, especially in the mouths of young patients. Fluoride’s value is in its ability to restore the loss of minerals in tooth enamel and prevent the spread of demineralization and early decay. Important in the protection of erupted teeth – Fluoride also plays an important role in the proper growth and development of tooth buds – ensuring a young child has strong and adequately formed teeth. But what happens if teeth don’t have the protection of Fluoride?
Family Dentists at Centennial Smiles Dental in Calgary explain that bacteria present in the mouth feed off food remnants – releasing acids in the process. It’s the acids that weaken tooth enamel and start dental decay. Even if enamel has been weakened by the destructive characteristics of oral bacteria it can be re-strengthened with topical applications of Fluoride, because when Fluoride is incorporated in teeth it makes enamel more resistant to an acid attack and stops the demineralization of tissue. The key to successful application of Fluoride is small regular amounts that can counterbalance the impact of foods ingested throughout the day.
If you’re eating a balanced diet and using toothpaste that contains Fluoride, you’re probably exposing yourself to enough of Fluoride’s decay fighting qualities. Chatting with your dentist about the additional benefits of Fluoride treatments will enable you to take advantage of its decay fighting properties – without the risk of over-exposure. Remember – grain sized amount for babies and toddlers, pea-sized for children and the rest of us. Don’t pay attention to the commercials that show toothpaste being applied the entire length of the toothbrush – that’s too much for everyone!