Fluoride – Friend or Foe?
Go hard or go home? With most things in life, we’ve been taught to “go hard or go home”. Every rule has its exceptions and tooth brushing is certainly one of them.
Overzealous scrubbing of teeth can result in undue wear of the enamel or root surface as well as unwanted trauma to your gums; this can result in your teeth appearing ‘longer’ and becoming overly sensitive to cold or sweet foods. Remember, gentle, circular, tooth brushing with a soft/extrasoft toothbrush for 2 full minutes will be more effective and less damaging than a quick scrub with a hard/medium toothbrush.
While there is loads of debate around whether to use toothpaste that includes fluoride, it is definitely our friend! We recommend always using a soft toothbrush, use toothpaste that includes fluoride and have fluoride applied every 6 months at your continuing care appointment. For small children and toddlers, we also support using one of the ‘junior’ toothpastes with reduced fluoride levels. This is important for small children who may swallow their toothpaste rather than spitting it out. We do have fluoride alternatives, just ask us. If you’re unsure of your technique, ask us and we’ll show you how!
Unlike injury to the majority of our other body parts, for example, a small papercut to the finger, there are many dental problems that can exist without causing pain. Dental decay, infected nerve chambers and abscesses are some of these issues. Regular dental visits and screening will allow your dentist to pick up and resolve these problems early before they “silently” cause more damage.