For decades, fluoride has been a staple of effective dental hygiene routines across the nation. Since the confirmation of its dental benefits in the mid-1900s, fluoride has helped countless people increase their cavity-fighting prowess. In case you’ve ever wondered how fluoride (a chemical ion of the element fluorine) helps ward off one of the most widespread dental diseases, your Des Moines dentist explains how it strengthens your teeth’s natural defenses.
How Fluoride Helps Prevent Cavities
Cavities are small holes in your teeth caused by tooth decay, and has affected the permanent teeth of over 90% of adults in America. Your tooth enamel, which is the strongest substance in your body, relies on minerals (mainly calcium and phosphate) to remain strong. When acid produced by oral bacteria attack your tooth enamel, it depletes these minerals from your teeth, depriving enamel of its ability to regain strength. As a mineral, fluoride bonds to the surface of your enamel, fortifying it in the face of acid attacks and increasing your chances of avoiding tooth decay as a result of enamel erosion.
Where to Find Fluoride
After decades of vigorous research and testing, cities across the United States began fluoridating municipal water supplies since the 1960s. Aside from drinking tap water, you can also receive fluoride through most toothpaste brands, and if your enamel is weakened, Dr. Burds may suggest fluoride treatments for increased protection against cavities.
Strengthen Your Smile with Help from Your Des Moines Dentist
While fluoride can help keep your teeth strong, maintaining your oral health is a continuous battle and requires your diligent care. Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once, preferably before bed. Also, attend a dental checkup and cleaning at least once every six months to ensure a clean and disease-free smile. To learn more about fluoride and other methods of strengthening your teeth, or to treat/repair a present cavity, contact us today to schedule an appointment with your Des Moines dentist by calling Gateway Dental Group at (515) 244-9565. Located in the 50309 area, we proudly welcome patients from Des Moines, River Bend, Kirkwood Glen, East Village, and neighboring communities.