Caring for an Elderly Parent With Special Dental Needs

Caring for an Elderly Parent With Special Dental Needs

Are All Dental Fluorides Created Equal?

Joe Lawrence

One tip you may have heard from your dentist is about how fluoride is so important to the overall health of your teeth. However, you may end up confused about picking toothpaste and mouthwash when you see so many different types of fluorides available to you. Here is what you should know about how these fluorides are actually different.

Sodium Fluoride

One of the most common types of fluoride you are going to see in toothpaste is sodium fluoride, which is because it does a great job of preventing cavities from forming. It can even come in a prescription strength toothpaste for those people that are really prone to having cavities form in their teeth. You'll also find that sodium fluoride is also a common ingredient used in mouthwash. This is because sodium fluoride works great when added to a liquid like mouthwash.

There are disadvantages to sodium fluoride though, with the main one being that it is not good to ingest it. This is why you'll sometimes see kids toothpastes that do not contain sodium fluoride, as there is a concern with kids swallowing toothpaste.

Stannous Fluoride

Stannous fluoride is quite common as well, and is known to have antimicrobial properties. It makes the fluoride very effective on plaque biofilm, which is that sticky substance on your teeth that will turn into tartar if ignored. The antimicrobial properties also help treat gingivitis as well. Stannous fluoride is also a more resilient form of fluoride when compared to sodium fluoride. This is due to how stannous fluoride brings down the acid levels in your mouth and fights bacteria as a result.

However, stannous fluoride does have some downsides to using it. The fluoride can cause problems with dental work, such as tooth-colored resin fillings, which makes them feel a bit rougher. It can also cause teeth to become stained over time, but the staining will come off when you have your teeth cleaned and polished at the dentist.


What makes monofluorophosphate unique is that it is activated by enzymes found in your saliva. You will typically find it in toothpastes that are advertised to be more natural. This is due to how monofluorophosphate can be used with other ingredients that sodium and stannous fluoride are not compatible with.

The drawback to monofluorophosphate is that it can cost more money, which makes the toothpastes they are in more expensive. Monofluorophosphate is also known to be less effective over time, which is a problem that doesn't exist with the other fluorides.

Speak to a dentist, such as Dr. Jon Douglas Lesan, DDS, RpH, PA, to find out more.


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Caring for an Elderly Parent With Special Dental Needs

Caring for an elderly parent tends to be tough enough without the added stress of dealing with dental implants or dentures. But, the prospect is not the end of the world—there are many things you can do to ensure that your parent's dental health is not compromised without having to spend a lot of personal time doing the care yourself. Between working with the right dentist, hiring a service provider for part time work, and giving your parent the tools he or she needs to care for his or her own dental health at home, you'll find that dental health for your loved one isn't so tough or time consuming after all. Hopefully you are able to get the support and information you need right here.