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Dental hygiene is a big topic when it comes to oral health. This is because your teeth are the only set you have and there are very few things that can help you get new ones if yours become diseased or too damaged. The top dentist in Bucks County, Dr. Brian Wilk, recommends that patients do everything they can to keep their teeth strong and healthy for as long as possible. One of the most important things you can do to maintain good oral health is to brush your teeth regularly and well, especially after eating or drinking anything with sugar in it.
Fluoride has become a popular toothpaste ingredient over the years, as it has been shown to be very effective at making your teeth stronger. But does fluoride actually make your teeth any stronger? And what benefits and side effects are associated with using fluoride toothpaste?
Fluoride Toothpaste Helps Remove Plaque
The main benefit of using a fluoride based toothpaste is that it helps remove plaque. This thin film of bacteria builds up on your teeth if you do not regularly brush them well. If it is allowed to build up, plaque hardens into tartar. Tartar can only be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist scraping it off with special tools at the dentist’s office when you are getting your teeth cleaned. Furthermore, the top dentist in Bucks County, Dr. Brian Wilk, says that if the bacteria in plaque is not removed, it can lead to tooth decay and cavities. It can also lead to tooth decay and gum disease, which is why it’s important to remove plaque as soon as you notice it forming.
Fluoride Toothpaste Stops Cavities Before They Start
If you come into the dental office for a cleaning because your teeth are already covered in plaque or tartar up to the gum line, you are also likely to have developed some small cavities in your teeth. Dr. Brian Wilk says cavity prevention is the other major way that fluoride based toothpastes can help with oral health. Many people think that they need to brush their teeth twice a day every day in order to keep their teeth strong and healthy, but this is not strictly true. In fact, it is hard to remove plaque from your teeth if you do not brush after every meal. In some cases, this could prevent the fluoride from being able to keep cavities at bay.
Fluoride Toothpaste Can Help Restore Damaged Teeth
Finally, fluoride toothpaste can help prevent and repair damage to a patient’s teeth. Dr. Brian Wilk points out that this is especially true of cavities on the surface of teeth, where fluoride toothpaste can actually help fill in holes and restore your teeth to normal strength.
Is Fluoride Dangerous?
There are some side effects associated with using fluoride-based toothpaste. Your chances of developing these may increase if you use a very high concentration of fluoride toothpaste, if you swallow it instead of spit it out after brushing your teeth or if you have a medical condition that makes it difficult for you to handle fluoride. The most common side effect is an allergic reaction, which can cause swelling and pain in the mouth as well as small bumps on the gums and in the mouth that resemble acne. Some people also develop a rash on the skin around their mouth when they use fluoride-based toothpaste.
Finally, if you drink too much fluoridated water, you may be at risk for developing fluoride toxicity and suffering from disfiguring bone disease when you are an adult. This is because your body will absorb high levels of fluoride while you are drinking it and store it in your bones. You should never drink fluoridated water if you know you have a medical condition that makes it difficult for you to handle fluoride correctly, such as kidney disease or an underactive thyroid gland.
In conclusion, fluoride does make your teeth stronger, and it can work to prevent plaque, cavities and damage to your teeth. However, some side effects are associated with using fluoride toothpaste, such as allergic reactions and painful swelling in the mouth. F