Your teeth are a multi-layered structure, consisting of an inner pulp chamber, a soft dentin center, and a layer of protective, semi-porous dental enamel. Dental enamel is white, shiny, and incredibly hard. In fact, enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, consisting of 96% minerals. Unfortunately, the enamel isn’t immune to damage, which is why dentists worldwide recommend fluoride treatments.
Fluoride: A Natural, Powerful Mineral
Fluoride, a mineral that is found in all natural water sources, helps your teeth on multiple levels. In addition to promoting natural tooth remineralization, fluoride also strengthens your dental enamel on a molecular level, protecting your teeth from the perils of decay. When fluoride is present, the teeth create and absorb more of the mineral fluorapatite, an incredibly hard mineral that bolsters the strength of the entire tooth. In fact, this mineral is more resistant to acids, warding off problems like acid erosion, discoloration, and dental sensitivity.
Types of Fluoride Applications
Nowadays, fluoride can be found in toothpaste, mouth rinses, dental floss, and even the public water supply. Research has shown that over 74% of the US population has access to fluoridated water, helping to reduce the rates of tooth decay in adults, children, and babies alike.
Fluoride treatments are considered by the CDC to be one of the greatest public health inventions of the 20th century, reducing instances of tooth decay in primary teeth by as much as 60%. Water fluoridation has also been shown to significantly lower tooth decay rates, although some people do not have access to this free source of fluoride.
Fortunately, even people without fluoridated water can enjoy the benefits of fluoride through professional dental treatments. Fluoride is also available in varnishes, foams, sealants, drops, and lozenges, with many of these varieties being prescribed in careful doses to children and adults.
Avoiding Fluoride Treatment Problems
Unfortunately, receiving too much fluoride can cause a disorder called fluorosis, a condition that makes the surface of your teeth look mottled. However, kids with developing teeth are at the highest risk for fluorosis, but only if they receive too much fluoride. To avoid this problem, fluoride should only be taken or administered in accordance with your dentist’s orders.
Enjoy A Whiter Smile Today
If professional fluoride treatments aren’t enough to brighten your smile, meet with a cosmetic dentist in Boston today to talk about your options. Dental Partners of Boston offers a wide range of cosmetic dental treatments, including professional whitening, orthodontic care, veneers, and even dental implants. Here is where you will find more information about our dental services and schedule an appointment