What is Fluoride and how does it help in maintaining good oral health?

Fluoride and BrushingWhen you think of fluoride perhaps the first thing that comes to mind are toothpastes and mouthwashes. This is because fluoride has an important role to play in our oral health. It can aid in the re-mineralization of teeth, strengthening them and thus protecting them from decay-causing bacteria. This is why dentists advise all patients to use toothpastes and mouthwashes containing fluoride for optimal oral health. Some other notable fluoride sources include:

 

 

  • fluoridated water
  • fluoride gels and foams
  • In-office fluoride varnish application
  • fluoride supplements and lozenges

Fluoride therapy has been known to repair the mineralized portion of the teeth following bacterial attack. It causes a mineral known as fluorapatite to be incorporated into the enamel when it loses its own mineral structure to decay.

Overexposure to fluoride during the first 8 years of life, which is when most permanent teeth are being formed can cause the condition called fluorosis. After the permanent teeth come in, the teeth of those affected by fluorosis may appear mildly discoloured.  In cases of cosmetic concerns, conservative dental bonding can be placed to restore teeth to their natural color. All fluoride applied and prescribed at Mosaic Dentistry follows the American Dental Association standards for use. Fluoride plays a vital role in cavity prevention and we have multiple fluoride treatment options at Mosaic Dentistry.

What is Xylitol and how does it contribute to oral health?

Xylitol is a sweetener that comes from the cell wall of plants. The Streptococcus mutans bacteria present in the mouth, which is responsible for causing dental caries, when exposed to xylitol are unable to secrete acid in the mouth.  The acidic activity of these bacteria alters the pH of the oral cavity, giving the microorganisms a favourable environment to initiate the process of caries. When they are unable to secrete acid, the mouth retains its healthy, balanced pH thus halting harmful bacterial activity.

Xylitol gums, mints, mouth rinses and toothpastes are readily available in the market today. Some of these products are made with added calcium and phosphorus, which help in the re-mineralization of the enamel following bacterial attack. Because it is obtained from a plant source, xylitol is an excellent choice for patients suffering from diabetes, and can effectively replace table sugar as well.  Some of our favourite xylitol products are Spry gum and mints and Dr. John’s mints and lollipops!

Get in touch with our team at Mosaic Dentistry today if you wish to learn more about alternate ways to keep your teeth healthy at all times!