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The Benefits of Fluoride, Family Dentist Omaha

Why is it that so often when we speak of healthy teeth we also mention fluoride?  It’s because fluoride fights cavities naturally, being a natural mineral found in lakes, oceans, rivers, etc.  Because of it’s beneficial properties, in most places its also added to the drinking water.

Fluoride protects the teeth by making the outer surface of a tooth (this surface is called the enamel) more resistant to the acids in our foods and beverages, which reduces the chance of chronic oral problems such as tooth decay.  Our tooth enamel breaks down with age, with the foods we eat, with sugary beverages, etc.  Fluoride then helps rebuild a weakened enamel to the threat of tooth decay.

While fluoride is found in most water supplies in the United States—about seventy-five percent—it’s also found in most toothpastes.  A quality fluoride toothpaste is an essential to the battle against tooth decay.  Dentists recommend a fluoride toothpaste, because when fluoride is applied to the surfaces of the teeth there is a twenty-five percent greater chance at not contracting cavities—this, of course, is variable due to other factors such as diet, etc.

Make sure to brush your teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste, and floss at least once everyday.  Children of any age may use a toothpaste with fluoride, however there are amount restrictions with the age and ability of the child.  For children who cannot spit out the toothpaste, a very small amount of toothpaste, no more than the size of a grain of rice should be used.

When a child is able to spit out the toothpaste reliably, the amount of toothpaste can be upped to an amount similar to the size of a pea.  There are also mouthwashes that contain fluoride, however a child under the age of six may be more likely to swallow the mouthwash than to swish it about his or her mouth, so mouthwashes should only be used by adults and older children, as mouthwashes can contain other substances which are not healthy if ingested completely.

Regular check ups with your dentist—recommended twice yearly—and a consistent schedule of oral hygiene should keep your mouth healthy and free of gum disease.

Please contact Premier Dental for all of your dental needs today!