For decades, fluoride has been recognized as an essential ally in fighting tooth decay. Most major toothpaste and mouthwash brands include fluoride in their products, and it fluoridating municipal water supplies has been an official US policy since the 1960s. So how does fluoride help protect your teeth, exactly? West Des Moines dentist, Dr. Jessica Johnson, explains.
Reinforcement for Tooth Enamel
Your tooth enamel is the strongest substance that your body produces. The highly mineralized substance surrounds and protects your teeth against bacteria, food debris, and infection. Tooth decay begins with a process called demineralization, during which acids produced by oral bacteria weaken enamel and sap minerals from your teeth to prevent it from regaining strength. In time, your enamel can grow too weak to protect against bacteria, and tooth decay can infect the main part of your tooth, called dentin. Fluoride improves cavity prevention by bonding to your enamel and minimizing the effects of demineralization. Use fluoride products to brush and rinse your teeth, drink plenty of fluoridated tap water, and ask your West Des Moines dentist about fluoride treatments at your six-month to increase your teeth’s cavity fighting prowess.
Improve Your Dental Health
While fluoride is a powerful tool against dental disease, it would be useless without a proper dental hygiene routine. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once to help control dental plaque. Inhibiting the bacteria that comprise the sticky substance and produce acid can allow your enamel more time to remineralize and prepare for the next attack. Also, be sure to visit your dentist at least every six months for a dental checkup and cleaning, during which Dr. Johnson can thoroughly inspect your mouth for early signs of enamel erosion or infection. Early detection and treatment can help prevent the need for extensive procedures later.
Excellent Dental Care in West Des Moines
To learn more, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jessica Johnson, contact Valley Ridge Family Dental today at (515) 327-62230. Located in the 50266 area, we proudly serve patients from West Des Moines, Waukee, Urbandale, Clive, and the surrounding communities.