Why Fluoride is Effective at Stopping Tooth Decay
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 hundreds of health and professional organizations, most notably the American Dental Association, which has countless studies supporting the safety and effectiveness of fluoride.
Fluoride has two primary benefits:
- It strengthens the teeth once they have erupted by seeping into the outer surface of the tooth enamel, making the teeth more resistant to decay. We get fluoride exposure by using fluoride containing dental products such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, and gels. Dentists and dental hygienists generally recommend that children have a professional application of fluoride twice a year during dental check-ups.
- It reduces sensitivity by blocking the small pores in the teeth with its minerals.
*Dr. Tilden and our hygienists recommend a fluoride treatment for anyone with more than 2-3 cavities because clearly, that's too many and you are in fact high risk for cavities! So why not focus on preventative measures?! After all, wouldn't you rather pay $40 for a fluoride treatment than to have cavities fixed?
Although most people receive adequate fluoride from food and water, sometimes it is not enough to help prevent decay. Your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend the use of home and/or professional fluoride treatments for the following reasons:
Deep pits and grooves on the chewing surfaces of teeth (high risk for cavities).
Exposed and sensitive root surfaces.
Fair to poor oral hygiene habits.
Frequent sugar and carbohydrate intake.
Inadequate exposure to fluoride containing products and water.
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.
If you would like to schedule an appointment or have any additional questions please contact Tilden Dental Group at their River North dental office today!