Fluoride Treatments Minimize Your Risk of Decay
Fluoride can be found in drinking water and many foods. In the 1930s, researchers discovered that those who drank water with fluoride had fewer cavities than those living in areas without fluoridated water. Subsequent studies repeatedly confirmed that fluoride contributed to a decrease in the frequency of tooth decay. As a result, the American Dental Association (ADA), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the American Medical Association (AMA) have all approved the use of fluoride in public water supplies. Meanwhile, the direct application of fluoride to the teeth has been proven to further prevent tooth decay, and has become a common service in most dental practices.
How Does it Help?
Dental decay is caused by lactic acid-producing bacteria that collect on the teeth and forms plaque. Fluoride counteracts the damaging effects of bacteria on tooth enamel. Fluoride also helps harden enamel, making teeth more resistant to bacteria, and protecting them from decay and infection. It can even help reverse the very earliest stages of decay. For this reason, fluoride treatments may be recommended by your dentist as part of your oral health plan.
Although many communities add fluoride to their public water systems, not all do. Additionally, many home water treatment systems remove a large percentage of that fluoride. To ensure all their patients experience the benefits of fluoride, our dentists may recommend fluoride treatments in addition to regular dental cleanings. These fluoride treatments can be applied either topically or systemically.
For many, when they think of fluoride treatments, they think of the topically applied fluoride gel or foam-filled trays worn at the dentist's office. Although this is a popular fluoride treatment method that delivers a high concentration of fluoride, other treatments are also available, including:
- Fluoride toothpaste
- Mouth rinses
- Medical supplements in the form of drops or pills
During your consultation, your dentist can recommend a fluoride treatment for you.
Virtually all patients can benefit from fluoride treatments. These treatments are especially beneficial to those who have:
- Dry mouth (xerostomia)
- Gum disease
- A history of frequent cavities
- Restorative work, including crowns, bridges, and braces
As with all treatments they provide, our dentists will conduct a thorough analysis to determine if fluoride treatment is right for you.
Your teeth are an important asset that make it possible to speak clearly, chew efficiently, and smile with confidence. While brushing and flossing are essential to maintaining oral health, fluoride treatment can also provide a significant benefit by further protecting your teeth from decay. To learn more about fluoride treatments and how they can benefit you and your loved ones, contact our offices today. We look forward to helping you maintain a healthy, beautiful smile.