How so? Well, cavities are formed when bacteria and acids strip your natural tooth minerals — calcium and phosphate — from the teeth. Fluoride builds tooth mineral by bonding with calcium and phosphate, which in turn results in stronger teeth.
Your choice of fluoride toothpaste definitely makes a difference on how well your teeth hold up. In fact, your family dentist may even recommend that you use special fluoride toothpastes that contain up to four times more calcium and phosphate. And many of us who have access to fluoridated water through our municipal water systems benefit as well. But perhaps your fluoride intake is not sufficient to completely stave off the risk of developing cavities.
For instance, do you drink bottled water (sans the fluoride)? While you may prefer the taste of bottled water, it’s not as beneficial to your teeth as fluoridated tap water. Or do you drink a high volume of beverages that are high in acid and sugar – such as energy drinks? While they may give you a boost, they also play a part in corroding the teeth.
You may also be at increased risk for tooth decay if you wear braces or another orthodontic device, or if you don’t floss your teeth or if you eat frequently.
If you find that you may be at high risk for developing tooth decay, you may want to consider receiving in-office fluoride treatments. In fact, the American Dental Association recommends that those with moderate to high risk of cavities receive such treatments (that are high in fluoride and contain calcium and phosphate) at least twice a year. Your family dentist will determine the best form of in-office treatment, which could be in the form of a gel or a tooth varnish.
If you have questions or concerns about whether you are getting enough fluoride and you reside in the Columbus or Reynoldsburg areas, we would love to hear from you. Feel free to schedule a free consultation. We want to do our part to help you keep your teeth healthy and strong!