What is fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water. It also helps to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride reverses early decay and remineralizes your tooth enamel. Strong enamel is like wearing a nice wool coat in the cold. It is your protection from acids that cause cavities. This is how decay is stopped.
Fluoride’s Effects On Teeth:
Every day, your enamel (the protective outer layer of your tooth) gains and loses minerals. You lose minerals when acids from bacteria, plaque and sugars in your mouth attack your enamel. This is called demineralization and it is the first step toward the formation of cavities.
You gain minerals when your enamel is exposed to minerals that strengthen your teeth. Minerals like fluoride, calcium and apatite integrate into your enamel to make your teeth strong. This process is called remineralization.
Tooth decay is a result of too much demineralization without enough remineralization.
How This Plays Into Dentistry:
Children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years need an appropriate amount of fluoride to fight decay and promote healthy enamel development. Adults can benefit from fluoride but in different ways than fluoride for your child.
If you primarily drink bottled or filtered water in your home, you may want to heed the American Dental Association’s (ADA) recommendation on the use of fluoride to protect your children from the pain of cavities.
In a recent study, an expert panel established by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs concluded that professionally applied fluoride treatments can reduce cavities in school-aged children and young adults. Specifically, it noted that a fluoride varnish applied every six months can help prevent dental decay in a typical child and even significantly help high-risk patients (those very prone to cavities).
Cavities can cost thousands of dollars to repair. Preventative fluoride treatments, as recommended by the ADA, cost a mere fraction of that amount.
We’ve known for years that individuals with diabetes, acid reflux, heart disease, or autoimmune disease are more likely to have compromised dental health.
Fluoride varnish treatments have long been known to help reduce hypersensitivity along the gumline, improve enamel resistance against acid, provide long-term cavity protection, reduce cavities in patients who have “soft” teeth (high-risk patients), and treat sensitivity after bleaching. In fact, the American Dental Association recommends fluoride applications up to every three months for high-risk patients.
Many factors contribute to the decision to recommend fluoride varnish treatment to a patient. These include ease of application, patient comfort, convenience, effectiveness, and the willingness of patients to pay when insurance will not. Now you don’t have to worry about paying! By scheduling your child’s cleaning in the month of December, you will get a FREE fluoride treatment!
Wondering if your child could benefit from additional fluoride? Call us today to make a cleaning appointment and get a FREE treatment!