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.

Top 5 Reasons to Make Your Teeth a Spring Cleaning Priority

Regular dental visits are very important to your health and wellbeing. In fact, we recommend you have a professional cleaning and dental exam every six months. Spring is a great time for your first cleaning of the year.

Spring cleaning appointment

First, because many people are in “spring cleaning” mode, so it is easy to remember to make this important appointment as part of your annual routine. Second, a spring cleaning puts your second cleaning of the year in the fall, before the holiday rush makes it harder to fit it into your schedule.

Why are these routine visits so important?

  1. To prevent gum disease – This is our top reason because it is so important to the health of your entire body! By preventing gum disease, you avoid oral health problems such as bone loss, bad breath and tooth loss, and you also preventing one of the main risk factors for a myriad of health problems such as heart disease and some cancers.
  2. To help detect oral cancer – Early detection is very important with any cancer, and oral cancer is no exception. We screen patients for signs of oral cancer at every exam.
  3. To have a healthy smile – Regular cleanings will help keep your teeth white and healthy so your smile looks great.
  4. To maintain good oral health – Good home maintenance is of the utmost importance, and we can help. When we examine your teeth we can point areas where you need to focus more attention and coach you through any oral health challenges you face.
  5. To save money – By detecting problems early when they can be fixes more easily, you could avoid more costly procedures down the road.

Schedule your spring cleaning appointment today! Call our office at 239-936-0597 or visit www.myfortmyersdentist.com.