What Is Stannous Fluoride?
You may not have heard of the term “stannous fluoride” before — but it’s an ingredient you’ve almost certainly used regularly in the form of your toothpaste tube or bottle of mouthwash. This naturally occurring mineral is a popular component in oral care products because of its ability to strengthen teeth, prevent cavities and repair tooth decay. As if those aren’t enough perks, stannous fluoride can also help keep your breath fresh and your gums protected against a bacterial disease called gingivitis.
Let’s take a closer look at this fluoride form and why dentists recommend incorporating it into your oral health routine.
Fluoride in Its Many Forms
Stannous fluoride became a hailed dental care ingredient in the 1950s, when it was discovered that this natural mineral could help keep teeth healthy and strong. The first variants of toothpaste using stannous fluoride had a few drawbacks — namely, gritty texture and metallic taste. The early formulations also resulted in stained teeth, causing an alternative, a sodium-based fluoride, to replace it in popularity.
Sodium fluoride remains a common alternative toothpaste ingredient today. This form is effective when it comes to its enamel-strengthening and cavity-fighting capabilities. However, sodium fluoride doesn’t offer the other perks that stannous fluoride does.
Stannous fluoride, unlike other forms of fluoride, is antimicrobial. Its ability to kill plaque bacteria as it builds up in the mouth makes it a uniquely powerful line of defense against cavities, gingivitis and tooth sensitivity. Today’s formulations offer these benefits without staining tooth enamel, allowing users to reap the full benefits of stannous fluoride.
Benefits of Using Fluoride in Your Oral Health Routine
Whether it takes the form of toothpaste, mouthwash, drinking water, dental care protection or a combination of these, stannous fluoride is a powerful tool to add to your oral health care routine. It has a well-rounded roster of capabilities and will:
- Protect tooth enamel from decay and erosion
- Defend against tartar and plaque build-up that can cause bad breath, staining and tooth decay
- Reduce the risk of gingivitis thanks to its antimicrobial properties
- Fight against cavities
- Keep your breath fresh
- Reduce tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
How Stannous Fluoride Is Used in Dentistry
Stannous fluoride is commonly used in dental practices thanks to its aforementioned benefits. In fact, many dentist-recommended varieties of toothpaste and mouth rinses incorporate this valuable mineral. It’s also commonly found in tap water, which helps provide the population with a regular amount of fluoride to bolster its beneficial effects.
However, dentists sometimes advise against infants and young children consuming large amounts of fluoride. Check in with your dentist about what age your child should start drinking fluoridated water or using a toothpaste with any form of fluoride, and follow up on this before you begin incorporating it into their oral care routines.
Reach Out to Dental Choice for More Information About Stannous Fluoride Today
If you’re searching for ways to begin incorporating stannous fluoride into your oral health, Dental Choice can help. For more than 20 years, we have been committed to helping patients establish healthy dental habits and resolve any teeth issues as they arise. We strive to serve every patient promptly and personally so that your smile can keep shining bright and beautiful. Schedule an appointment with Dental Choice today.