Tooth decay (cavities) is the result of persistent acid erosion of the outer surface of tooth structure known as enamel. The mouth becomes acidic after consuming foods high in sugar and carbohydrates such as candy, soda, potato chips, bread, etc. It remains acidic until our saliva can make it neutral. The minerals of the enamel are drawn out by the acid and leave the tooth weak, this is termed demineralization. After repeated acid attacks and enough minerals are lost, the tooth becomes soft and a cavity is formed. This process can be avoided or controlled with the addition of fluoride in a daily routine of brushing, flossing, and rinsing.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral and is available in toothpastes, mouth rinses, and supplements. Before the point of no return has been reached, a vulnerable area on the tooth can remineralize or harden if a sufficient amount of fluoride is available for the tooth to absorb. Patients who have a long history of cavities, poor oral hygiene habits, or are in braces are at a higher risk for tooth decay and should be using a prescription strength (higher concentration) fluoride toothpaste or mouth rinse daily for prevention. Over-the-counter toothpastes and mouth rinses contain a fraction of the amount of fluoride available from prescription strength and are not adequate in preventing cavities in the abovementioned patients. Clinpro™5000, an innovative prescription toothpaste exclusively from 3M delivers over four times more fluoride than regular toothpaste. It is the only toothpaste to contain a tri-calcium phosphate ingredient that enhances the tooth absorption of the fluoride, meaning more fluoride is taken up by the teeth! It is a better way to fight cavities with every use! Clinpro™5000 is used in place of or after your regular toothpaste once a day and is available in a convenient six month supply, so you can refill your supply at your regular check-up appointments.
As always, be sure to keep your regular dental appointments so your mouth can be thoroughly cleaned and examined for cavities and oral lesions.