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Why Does a General Dentist in Visalia Suggest Patients Use a Toothpaste Containing Fluoride?
Fluoride is a substance found in nature that can prevent cavities, which is why a general dentist recommends that patients use it. While fluoride occurs in water, foods and other beverages, the amount varies. To ensure that patients are getting adequate protection from cavities, they should choose a toothpaste that has added fluoride. Read on to learn more about this substance.
How fluoride protects the teeth
Both children and adults can get benefits from fluoride. In children, fluoride is beneficial before the teeth break through the surface of the gums. The fluoride that children receive through beverages, foods and toothpaste can help the enamel of the teeth become strong as the teeth are developing.
In adults and older children, the fluoride will help to rebuild the enamel of the teeth if the teeth are weakened. This can help to reverse the early stages of tooth decay. Fluoride toothpaste has a topical effect as the toothpaste is applied to the teeth. Fluoride in foods and beverages has a similar effect because the fluoride becomes part of the saliva. This provides constant protection to the teeth as they are bathed in these small amounts of fluoride.
Brushing with fluoride toothpaste
The right brushing technique can help a patient’s teeth stay clean and healthy. It is important to choose a soft toothbrush, as this will prevent the enamel or gums from getting worn down. To brush the teeth, the patient should use gentle circular motions. Many patients press down too hard on the teeth, but this can actually cause more harm than good, as it wears the area.
Patients should ideally brush their teeth after every meal. However, this may not be possible in all cases, so patients should brush at least twice a day. It is important for patients to brush the teeth right after waking up, so none of the plaque will be swallowed. Patients should also brush the teeth right before bed at night.
Fluoride toothpaste and safety
While the fluoride that is found in food, beverages and toothpaste is safe in small amounts, it can be harmful in large quantities. This is why the toothpaste label says not to swallow it. Patients should take extra care after brushing to rinse their mouth thoroughly after brushing.
Children who are three years old or older can safely use fluoride toothpaste. However, parents and caregivers should be careful to only use a tiny amount of toothpaste — no larger than a grain of rice to start with. Older children should only use a pea-size amount of toothpaste.
Visit a general dentist today
While fluoride is a great way to help prevent cavities, it is not the only step. Patients should be visiting a general dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups as well. The general dentist can do a more thorough job than you can at home. This is important in preventing cavities from forming.
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