Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral known to protect teeth against the effects of cavity-causing bacteria. Fluoride works by encouraging the remineralization of tooth enamel that has already been weakened by acids. It also reinforces healthy tooth structure, making teeth stronger than they naturally are. Lastly, fluoride is has been found to disrupt the ability of bacteria to produce the waste products that cause tooth decay.
Fluoride, in different forms, is beneficial for everyone. The majority of over-the-counter toothpastes contain fluoride. Why might we recommend that you use a prescription-strength fluoride? Is there really a difference between that and what you already use?
Are You at Risk?
Dry mouth can lead to an increase in cavity-causing bacteria. Some patients already have a lengthy history with cavities. Some medications decrease saliva flow. After having periodontal treatment, the roots of teeth can become more sensitive and susceptible to cavities. For reasons such as these, our doctor or hygienist may recommend that you try a prescription-strength toothpaste to lower your risk of tooth decay.
Concentration Makes a Difference
The majority of OTC toothpastes on the market today contain anywhere from 0.22 to 0.312% fluoride (1,000-1,450 parts per million). Prescription toothpastes, however, contain the maximum amount allowable, 1.1% (5,000 parts per million). Due to the higher concentration, prescription fluoride toothpastes deliver a whopping dose of the protective and preventative vitamin to the surfaces of your teeth. It is very beneficial for adult teeth, but fluoride in such high doses can have harmful effects on the still-developing teeth of children.
Using a prescription-strength fluoride toothpaste will reduce tooth sensitivity and lower your cavity risk. Learn more at your next dental appointment about how a prescription-strength fluoride toothpaste can improve your smile’s health.
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