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Dental Fluoride and you to a Healthy Smile

Oct 5, 2012 @ 07:00 AM – by Dr.Thomas Tang

Milwaukee, WI Dental CleaningMilwaukee-Brookfield, WI Dentistry talks about Fluoride

Milwaukee-Brookfield, WI General Dentistry, Thomas Tang, DDS talks about Dental Routine Care for Your Smile with facts about Fluoride.

What is Fluoride?

Fluoride is the anion F-, the reduced form of fluorine, which is capable of bonding and forming compounds and has a noted effect systemically and topically on teeth and the crystalline structure that the enamel is composed of.

When did Fluoride Evolve?

In the early 1900’s, discolored, mottled teeth were noted in the United States’ Midwestern and Western states and after research it was discovered that high concentration of fluoride in the drinking water was the reason. It was also discovered that these discolored teeth were impressively free of tooth decay. Testing concerning appropriate concentrations ensued and by the 1960’s water fluoridation had become widely accepted and used in the United States. 

Milwaukee-Brookfield, WI General Dentistry, Thomas Tang, DDS, would like to discuss the Pros vs. Cons about Fluoride Consumption

Tooth enamel is made up of a crystallized structure called Hydroxyapetite Ca5(PO4)3(OH), and when the apetite is forming the fluoride anion can replace the hydroxy ion (OH-). The fluoride replacement (fluorapetite) reduces the demineralization process of the enamel, which helps prevent tooth decay. Too much fluorapetite can cause a disruption in the crystalline pattern resulting in the noted discoloration in tooth enamel commonly called dental fluorosis. 

Once the tooth is formed, ingested fluoride has minimal effect on the prevention of decay and the disruption of the crystalline pattern. Fluoride does not only have a systemic effect though, it also has a topical effect and that is where fluoride treatments at the dentist office come into play.

Milwaukee, WI Dental Plaque


What Causes Cavities, Milwaukee-Brookfield, WI General Dentistry, Thomas Tang, DDS, wants you to know?

Dental cavities are typically formed by the bacteria in plaque sitting on the tooth structure producing tiny amounts of acid which puncture the tooth structure leaving a hole or “cavity.” When the plaque is attached to the tooth structure, the topical fluoride is unable to remineralize the tooth structure and has very little effect in the prevention of tooth decay. When the teeth are cleaned professionally by the hygienist, the tooth structure is exposed and free of the plaque bacteria. Professional strength topical fluoride can then be applied to the tooth structure reducing the rate of demineralization. 

Great Tips Milwaukee-Brookfield, WI General Dentistry, Thomas Tang, DDS, of how Can Fluoride in the Right Consumption Do for Your Smile?

  • When the dentist recommends a fluoride treatment at a dental cleaning, he/she is using the opportunity of the freshly exposed tooth structure to remineralize the enamel, exposed root surface, and highly decay susceptible areas like edges of crowns, fillings and decalcified tooth structure. 
  • Even though the crystalline structure is already formed, and systemic, ingested fluoride is minimally effective, the topically applied fluoride is still very effective and proven to reduce demineralization of the enamel. 

Milwaukee-Brookfield, WI General Dentistry, Thomas Tang, DDS, recommends continuous 6-month dental cleaning, at Thomas Tang, DDS Brookfield Family Dentistry. What better opportunity to use this tool than when the teeth are free of plaque at a professional dental cleaning and optimum results can be achieved!

Want to Protect Your Pearly Whites from Cavities? Fluoride is the Key! 

  • Milwaukee-Brookfield, WI General Dentistry, Thomas Tang, DDS, recommends in office fluoride treatments every 6 months at dental cleanings  Dr. Tang also recommends that well water should be tested to determine amount of fluoride in the water. This will inform the doctor if there is too much fluoride present or not enough. 

Should Patients use Products in between Dental Visits at Milwaukee-Brookfield, WI General Dentistry, Thomas Tang, DDS?

  • Dr. Tang recommends ACT Fluoride rinse or LISTERINE® Total Care along with the usual daily brushing and daily flossing.


If you are interested in learning more about the general or cosmetic dentistry services that Dr. Thomas Tang provides to the Brookfield, Wisconsin area, please send our office an email today. A member of our team will promptly reply to your query and, if necessary, schedule an appointment for you to meet Dr. Tang.

Or, you can call us (262) 821-1000


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Brookfield Family Dentistry: Thomas Tang, DDS

Brookfield Dentist Office

17185 W North Ave
Brookfield, WI 53005

Phone: (262) 821-1000