Fluoride is the most effective agent available to help prevent tooth decay. It is a mineral that is naturally present in varying amounts in almost all foods and water supplies. The benefits of fluoride have been well known for over 50 years and are supported by many health and professional organizations.
Fluoride Works in Two Ways
Topical fluoride strengthens teeth by seeping into the outer surface of the tooth enamel, making the teeth more resistant to decay. Topical fluoride comes from dental products such as toothpaste and mouth rinses. We recommend that children have a professional application of fluoride twice a year during dental checkups.
Systemic fluoride strengthens permanent and exposed teeth as well as those that are developing under the gums. We gain systemic fluoride from most foods and our community water supplies. It is also available as a supplement in drop or gel form and can be prescribed by your dentist or physician.
Although most people receive fluoride from food and water, sometimes it is not enough to help prevent decay. One of our dentists or dental hygienists may recommend the use of home and/or professional fluoride treatments for the following reasons:
- Deep pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces of teeth
- Exposed and sensitive root surfaces
- Fair to poor oral hygiene habits
- Frequent sugar and carbohydrate intake
- Inadequate exposure to fluorides
- Inadequate saliva flow due to medical conditions, medical treatments or medications
- Recent history of dental decay
Remember, fluoride alone will not prevent tooth decay! It is important to brush at least twice a day, floss regularly, eat balanced meals, reduce sugary snacks and visit your dentist on a regular basis.
“I am a new patient at Cary Dental Associates and I couldn’t be happier with my first visit! I was having tooth pain and they were able to squeeze me in immediately for an appointment. I was greeted by a fabulous team who you can tell love what they do.”