Fluoride 101

If you aren’t practicing good dental hygiene – regular dental visits, brushing twice a day, and flossing daily – your teeth will become susceptible to the acid-producing bacteria that collect around your teeth, called plaque. Another key ingredient that people tend to forget about when practicing good dental hygiene is using fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that fluoridehelps prevent tooth decay, and can actually help and repair teeth in the beginning stages of dental disease. There are two forms of fluoride: topical and systemic.

Topical fluoride is applied directly to the tooth’s enamel. The most popular topical fluoride comes in the form of toothpaste or mouthwash. Systemic fluoride is swallowed. Examples of systemic fluoride are fluoridated water and dietary fluoride treatments.

Dentists have used in-office fluoride treatments for decades to help protect their patients oral health, especially when their patients develop tooth decay. In an article written by the American Dental Association, some factors that may increase a person’s risk of developing tooth decay include the following:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Eating disorders
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Lack of regular professional care
  • High levels of bacteria in the mouth
  • Poor diet
  • Existing fillings
  • Tooth enamel defects

If you or anyone you know are at high risk of tooth decay, the office of Dr. Shane McDowell provide a full array of dental care services, and pay special attention to your comfort and health. Dr. Shane McDowell recommends using a fluoride rinse at night, which can help protect the enamel from decaying. Call or go online to schedule an appointment with Dr. McDowell to make sure your mouth is in the best shape possible. Visit www.myfortmyersdentist.com/appointment or call (239) 936-0597.

Three Ways to Add Fluoride to Your Diet

girl drinking water flourideFluoride is an important component of dental health, protecting teeth from decay and keeping gums healthy. In most American cities, including those in Southwest Florida, this natural substance is added to tap water, providing a readily available source for all citizens. The average person consumes 2-3 milligrams of fluoride daily through tap water.

However, for a variety of reasons, many people prefer bottled water, which does not contain fluoride. Should you change from bottled water to tap water to protect your teeth? Not necessarily. Here are some other ways to incorporate fluoride into your diet:

Tea – Fluoride is naturally occurring in black tea. One cup of black tea could provide as much as nine milligrams of fluoride, according to one study, far more than tap water.

Meat – Fluoride is found in sea water so it can be found to some degree in most seafood, and particularly in mechanically processed canned fish and shellfish meat. The same is true for mechanically processed chicken, which is found in canned chicken and chicken nuggets because sodium sulfate in used in these processes.

Dentists – Prophylactic fluoride treatments are available through your dentist.

If you believe you are not getting enough fluoride in your diet and would like to discuss the advantages of such treatments, please make an appointment online at http://www.myfortmyersdentist.com/ or call 239-936-0597.