Many people who want to strengthen their teeth will decide to use a fluoride rinse or mouthwash to do so. This is a great option, because fluoride can help provide valuable defense against cavity-causing agents that the teeth are exposed to daily.
While most people will get a fluoride rinse at the dentist every six months, sometimes it is necessary to get more fluoride, which is why off-the-shelf rinses are available. Read on for a quick guide to this vital weapon against tooth decay.
What is fluoride?
Fluoride is most known as that special mouthwash patients get at the dentist’s office, but it is much more than that. Fluoride also occurs naturally in a variety of food. This includes most seafood and black tea. Fluoride plays an important role in helping someone’s teeth resist acid attacks that occur after eating.
Surprisingly, it can even repair the initial stages of decay, which is a major reason why people will often use a daily fluoride rinse. Fluoride also helps the mouth regulate the amount of acid that is released by bacteria and plaque.
In the water
Fluoride is often found in the water, so make sure that the government is not giving you a double-dose before starting any kind of fluoride rinse. It is very easy to find out if this is happening. Just check the city or county website or place a quick call and speak with an official.
They should be able to provide information regarding just how much fluoride is in the water, which can help someone’s dentist decide whether it is necessary to use an additional fluoride rinse. Some cities have stopped adding fluoride to the water supply because so many people use mouthwashes that include fluoride, but it is still important to check first. Too much fluoride can cause the teeth to yellow somewhat and may do more harm than good.
Fluoride can be found in a number of different mouthwash products, as a stand-alone rinse and even in pill form. To make the best decision about which product or method to use, consult with a dentist. He or she should have a preferred method of ingestion and can often provide a favorite brand that he or she trusts.
Make sure to check the labels of any mouthwash currently in use to ensure that a double dose of fluoride is not being ingested. The label should also tell how much fluoride is being used. Report this to the dentist and he or she can make an informed decision regarding other fluoride options.