Optimizing your daily oral hygiene routine is one of the most impactful ways that you can improve the state of your smile. That is why, today, our St Louis dentists are going to be sharing some information about one particularly important ingredient in oral hygiene products: fluoride…
Get The Facts
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is found all around use: in the soil, rocks, air, and water! We care so much about fluoride because it has been shown to aid in the process of enamel re-mineralization (the process by which your enamel is re-hardened after acid or bacteria exposure).
In the United States, the public water supply is actually enriched with additional levels of fluoride, to discourage cavity development.
Ways To Get Fluoride
If you are brushing your smile morning and night, as recommended by the ADA, and drinking tap water throughout the day, then you are probably well on your way to getting the fluoride you need. You can add more fluoride into your routine by using a toothpaste with fluoride or choosing a fluoridated mouth rinse. Take a look around the next time you’re at the pharmacy or drugstore: so many oral hygiene products include fluoride!
There are more potent topical gels and mouth rinses available for patients who need additional fluoride. These are generally prescribed by your dentist, and they aren’t suitable for every kind of patient.
Fluoride is potentially problematic for pediatric patients who are still developing their adult teeth. If these patients ingest too much fluoride (by swallowing toothpaste, for example), they may develop adult teeth that are stained and pitted. This condition is called dental fluorosis, and it is the reason that certain pediatric toothpastes are made without fluoride. Your dentist can help you decide when your child should start using fluoridated products.
We hope that this information about fluoride and oral health has been helpful! As always, our Saint Louis dentists are here to answer any questions that you may have. We look forward to speaking with you!