Fluoride, or sodium fluoride, is a compound of the element, fluorine, mixed with a form of salt. In dental care, fluoride has gained immense popularity, and the mineral is one of the most prevalent components of a wide range of hygiene products. Fluoride abounds in most toothpaste and mouthrinse brands, and Dr. Villani offers fluoride treatments at his Brighton dentist’s office to patients with weak and vulnerable tooth enamel. Despite its popularity, many patients still have questions about fluoride, and why, exactly, it’s so important to maintaining healthy smiles.
How Fluoride Helps Your Dental Health
How does fluoride benefit teeth?
As a mineral, fluoride interacts with the enamel that surrounds and protects your teeth. Made almost entirely of mineral crystals (mostly calcium and phosphate), tooth enamel is weakened by acid, which occurs naturally in some foods, but is also produced by certain oral bacteria after you eat and drink. Fluoride can strengthen enamel in the face of acid attacks by binding to the layer of mineral crystals, reducing your risk of enamel erosion and the cavities that often result from it.
Where can I find fluoride?
Dental hygiene products are usually proud of the fact that they contain fluoride, and will announce the fact somewhere on their packaging. Since the mid-1900s, most cities across the United States have added trace amounts of fluoride to municipal water supplies to help reduce the overall cavity epidemic (with successful results). Besides toothpaste and tap water, patients who need prompt assistance to save their tooth enamel can receive direct fluoride treatments by visiting Dr. Villani’s office.
What is fluorosis?
Fluorosis is a phenomenon involving permanently stained teeth as a result of over-exposure to fluoride in early childhood. Too much of the mineral can cause brown discoloration in a child’s still-forming adult enamel, known as fluorosis. Once the teeth are formed, fluorosis is no longer an issue, and the condition doesn’t affect older teens and adults who haven’t developed fluorosis as children. Oddly, wide-spread fluorosis, the cause of which was unknown, is the reason why researchers discovered the benefits of fluoride after investigating the perplexing, inexplicable stains that plagued whole towns.
About Your Brighton Dentists:
Brighton Family Dental Group is located in Brighton MA. Featuring experienced dentists and an excellent range of in-office treatments, Brighton Family Dental Group is a great destination for any member of your family who is in need of dental care. Patients can schedule an appointment or a consultation with Dr. Thomas Villani by calling (617) 562-5210.