Why Use Fluoride?
Fluoride is the most effective, cost-efficient preventative treatment to deter tooth decay. In many cities it is added in small doses to the drinking water to reduce the risk of cavities up to 25%.
What is Fluoride?
It is a naturally-occurring mineral present in various food and water sources, as well as throughout the Earth’s surface.
How Does Fluoride Work?
Topical fluoride makes exposed (erupted) teeth more resistant to decay. It strengthens them by re-mineralizing tooth enamel’s outer surface. It is present in most dental products such as toothpastes and mouth rinses, as well as professional treatments applied by dental hygienists during routine cleanings.
Systemic fluoride also strengthens exposed teeth as well as teeth developing under the gums. It is found in many foods and often our community’s tap water. You can also obtain fluoride supplements prescribed by your dentist or physician. Drops are recommended for infants, then tablets for young children through the teen years. Dosage of fluoride is extremely important; overexposure to fluoride can cause white spots or discoloring of teeth, called fluorosis.
Your dentist may recommend home or in-office fluoride treatments. Risks that warrant supplemental fluoride are:
- Deep grooves and/or pits in the teeth
- Exposed root surfaces
- Sensitivity to cold and hot beverages and food
- Diet high in sugar and carbohydrates
- Saliva production issues, typically from medical conditions or treatments
- Fair to poor oral hygiene habits
- A recent increase in tooth decay
Sufficient fluoride use combined with diligent oral hygiene habits, balanced nutrition and annual dental visits will result in more than an amazing smile. It will save you money, time, and help protect your health.