What is fluoride?
The fluoride ion comes from the element fluorine. Fluoride, either applied topically to erupted teeth, or ingested orally (called systemic fluoride) during tooth development, helps to prevent tooth decay, strengthen tooth enamel, and reduce the harmful effects of plaque. Fluoride also makes the entire tooth structure more resistant to decay and promotes remineralization, which aids in repairing early decay before the damage is even visible.
Where is fluoride found?
Topical Fluoride is found in products containing strong concentrations of fluoride (i.e., toothpastes, mouth rinses), fluoridated varnishes and/or gels either topically applied by a dentist or other oral health professional, or prescribed as an at-home regimen (particularly for persons with a high risk of dental caries).
Systemic Fluoride can be ingested through public and private water supplies, soft drinks, teas, as dietary supplements, some bottled water supplies. Once ingested, systemic fluoride is absorbed via the gastrointestinal tract and distributed and deposited throughout the body via the blood supply.
What health risks are associated with fluoride uses?
In general, fluoride consumption is safe. Health risks associated with Fluoridation usually are limited to misuse and over concentration. To avoid misuse and over concentration: Avoid drinking overly fluoridated water – results of this may cause teeth to become discolored, and may cause the enamel of the teeth to look spotted, pitted, or stained (a condition known as dental fluorosis). Avoid swallowing toothpaste and other dental hygiene products.
Call the local water department and/or the health department to evaluate the fluoride level in your local drinking reservoir. Children are especially vulnerable to dental fluorosis as their developing teeth are more sensitive to higher fluoride levels. Consult a pediatric dentist or other oral healthcare professional if you notice changes in the condition of your child’s teeth.
When you wake up in the morning, do you experience pain in your jaw joint? Do you have difficulty opening or closing your mouth? Do you have sensitivity in your teeth or do they look shorter? Do you get routine headaches? These could be clear signs of grinding or bruxing. If uncontrolled, you can damage your jaw joint, your teeth or any dental work you have received from your dentist.
Reasons For Grinding
The exact reason for grinding is still unknown but there are some factors that are associated with this problem such as:
- Stress and anxiety
- Drug abuse
- Excess use of Caffeine
- Excess use of alcohol
- Some prescription medication
- Mal-Occlusion or miss-bite
- Parkinson’s disease
There is currently no cure for bruxing but it can be controlled. If you grind your teeth during the day or at night, your dentist will recommend a night guard to protect your teeth from these grinding forces. A night guard is a plastic cover that fits over your teeth to deflect the hard forces of chewing. Night guards will also increase the longevity of your dental work.
Night Guard Treatment
During the first visit, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth. This impression is then sent to a dental laboratory where a custom-fit night guard is made.
On your second visit, your dentist will show you how to place it into your mouth and will adjust it to your bite. There are different kinds of night guards from soft materials to harder plastic materials. Your Chino Hills dentist will recommend you the material best suited for you.
Mouth Guard or Sports Guard
You’ve probably seen others wearing a mouth guard during a game of football, basketball or hockey. If you play sports or if you’re just worried about injuring or knocking out your teeth, you can ask your dentist about a custom made mouth guard. A mouth guard will protect your teeth, lips, gums and cheeks from injury.
A mouth guard is simple to make and it can be the difference between keeping your smile and repairing or replacing a broken tooth.
During the first part of your check-up, we will look to see if sealants will be helpful to you. Sealants are protection for your teeth. Sealant is made from a plastic-like material and is painted on the chewing surfaces of your teeth to protect them from cavities. If your dentist decides that sealants would help protect your teeth they will either decide to place the sealant on the first visit or schedule a follow-up.
Preventative care is important in maintaining good oral health. Call your Chino Hills dentist has more information.