Brushing and flossing helps remove debris from the teeth, but daily contact with plaque bacteria also weakens tooth enamel, damaging the teeth and gradually wearing on them over time. While it’s true that toothpaste does contain small amounts of fluoride, it may be necessary to use a supplemental fluoride each day to help remineralize tooth enamel that is susceptible to forming cavities.
One of the benefits about choosing a fluoride rinse is that it can access all surface areas of teeth throughout the mouth. Areas between the teeth or that have deep areas inaccessible by a toothbrush can easily soak up fluoride when a rinse is used. The use of an over the counter fluoride rinse each day can keep enamel strong, deter decay from forming, and reduce the need for dental fillings and other restorative dental work.
A fluoride rinse should be used after thorough brushing and flossing, so that the liquid has direct contact with clean tooth enamel. Most dentists recommend using the fluoride in the evenings before bedtime, as the saliva glands slow down production when a person sleeps. After rinsing with the fluoride for 30+ seconds, spit the rinse into the sink but do not rinse the remainder of the fluoride rinse out of your mouth. This allows a very small amount to remain on the surface of the tooth enamel. If the rinse is used in the morning, then a person should wait at least 30 minutes or more before eating or drinking after applying fluoride.
Implementing a fluoride rinse into your daily oral hygiene routine can help stop new cavities from forming between your dental visits. It is not however, a substitute for regular brushing or flossing!
Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Mansouri, Marietta Family Dental Care, P.C.
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