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Fluoride Treatment

Why is Fluoride recommended?

Fluoride is the best substance available to help stop tooth decay. It is a mineral that is naturally found in different amounts in almost all foods and water sources. The advantages of fluoride have been well known for over 50 years and are backed by many health and professional groups.

Fluoride works in two ways:

  • Topical fluoride makes the teeth stronger once they have come out by soaking into the outer layer of the tooth enamel, making the teeth less prone to decay. We get topical fluoride by using fluoride containing dental products such as toothpaste, mouth washes, and gels. Dentists and dental hygienists usually suggest that children have a professional application of fluoride twice a year during dental visits.

  • Systemic fluoride makes the teeth that have come out as well as those that are growing under the gums stronger. We get systemic fluoride from most foods and our local water supplies. It is also available as a supplement in drop or gel form and can be prescribed by your dentist or doctor. Usually, fluoride drops are suggested for babies, and tablets are best for children up to the teen years. It is very important to watch the amounts of fluoride a child takes in. If too much fluoride is taken while the teeth are growing, a condition called fluorosis (white spots on the teeth) may happen.

When is Fluoride indicated for you?

Although most people get fluoride from food and water, sometimes it is not enough to help stop decay. Your dentist or dental hygienist may suggest the use of home and/or professional fluoride treatments for the following reasons:

  • Deep holes and cracks on the biting surfaces of teeth.

  • Exposed and sensitive root surfaces.

  • Fair to poor oral care habits.

  • Frequent sugar and carbohydrate intake.

  • Not enough exposure to fluorides.

  • Not enough saliva flow due to medical conditions, medical treatments or drugs.

  • Recent history of dental decay.

 

Remember, fluoride alone will not stop tooth decay! It is important to brush at least twice a day, floss often, eat balanced meals, cut down on sugary snacks, and visit your dentist regularly.

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