According to the American Dental Association, fluoride is one of the key reasons that tooth decay over the last several years has been significantly reduced. The use of fluoride is important for both children and adults in the fight against cavities and tooth decay. Fluoride and fluoridation are effective and safe options for maintaining a healthy smile when they are used appropriately. Your team at Evanson DDS can help you understand the benefits and advantages of regular treatments and practices.
The Power of Fluoride
There are five main reasons why fluoride has the reputation it has for preventing one of the most common diseases affecting children today–tooth decay. The American Dental Association lists these five reasons as: 1) it prevents tooth decay; 2) protects all age groups from cavities; 3) it is effective and safe; 4) saves money (less to pay for fluoridating water/treatments than to fill cavities); and 5) it’s natural. Fluoride is a natural-occurring mineral found in oceans and groundwater. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named it one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.
How Does it Work?
Fluoride is a mineral compound containing fluorine, a naturally occurring element that makes the tooth more resistant to plaque and acid. Eating and drinking take a toll on the enamel of your teeth. Plaque and acid draw out vital minerals needed to keep teeth enamel strong. Over time, if you are not replacing these vital minerals, your teeth will begin to lose the fight and decay. Fluoride saves the day by returning these vital minerals and nutrients to your teeth, protecting enamel from tooth decay.
Both adults and children need fluoride. Even infants and toddlers can benefit. Critical stages for applications are 6 months to 16 years because the teeth are developing and permanent teeth are coming in. You only get one set of permanent teeth. It is important to do all you can when they are developing to preserve their strength.
Common Treatment Options
When it comes to receiving the fluoride that you need, you have options. Some of the more common options are:
- Toothpaste and Mouthwash
Fluoride toothpaste delivers this compound topically to your teeth. Adults that need more protection can also discuss prescription strength toothpaste options with Dr. Evanson.
Some toothpaste products are available without fluoride, and should be selected for children younger than two (unless instructed otherwise by your doctor or dentist). Kids under age six only need a pea-size amount of toothpaste, and you should be sure to teach your children about spitting rather than swallowing. This prepares them to use fluoride toothpaste safely once they get a little older.
Many mouthwash products contain fluoride to rinse away sugar residue and create a protective layer on your teeth. Read labels and ask Dr. Evanson for recommendations to help you make a smart choice for your dental health.
- In-Office Treatments
Talk with Dr. Evanson about your cavity risk and whether you could benefit from an in-office fluoride treatment. In-office treatments use a topical fluoride coating or will require you to wear a fluoride foam tray over your teeth for a few minutes. Special topical treatments provide extra protection against cavities for the next few months.
- Fluoridated Tap Water
75 percent of Americans’ tap water is fluoridated, including our water here in Northern Colorado. Denver Water introduces 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of drinking water. Not only does the fluoride rush over your teeth when you take a drink, but a small amount also lingers in your saliva, providing topical protection for your teeth.
Most importantly, ingested fluoride helps teeth grow stronger before they erupt through the gums. This makes fluoridated water especially vital for children whose teeth are still developing.
- Chew Fluoride Supplements
Toddlers and children who still have baby teeth can benefit from fluoride supplements. Chewing these is another way to ingest fluoride and help permanent teeth grow stronger before they erupt through the gums.
Talk to Dr. Evanson About Your Fluoride Needs
Routine examinations with Dr. Evanson will help you fight gum disease and tooth decay and keep your mouth healthy. Our expert staff is here to help you receive what you need to not only maintain your health but to achieve optimum oral health. We can recommend a safe, healthy fluoride level for you and your family.
For more dental health tips, or to schedule an appointment, please call our Parker office at (720) 409-0008 today.Leave a reply →