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As you may know, fluoride is a mineral that aides in preventing tooth decay. The benefits of fluoride use have been known for over 50 years. In addition to preventing decay, fluoride helps strengthen the teeth and has even been shown to reverse signs of early decay. In fact, it is the most effective agent available in preserving healthy teeth from cavities.
It is common to apply fluoride treatment to teeth for children up to the age of 18. Because we know the importance of preventing decay, we also recommend fluoride for adults at risk. This type of treatment is referred to as topical fluoride, routinely recommended to be applied twice a year at dental visits. Topical fluoride treatment strengthens the enamel of the teeth, making teeth more acid-resistant. Other sources of topical fluoride include toothpaste, mouthwash and fluoride rinses.
Fluoride is often present in small amounts in our drinking water and foods we eat. Fluoride received in this way is called systemic fluoride. It can help strengthen teeth that have not even erupted yet!
Talk with your dental team to understand the benefits of fluoride and to achieve the optimum amount of treatment. It is possible to get too much fluoride. Dr. Kiessling and his team are trained to prescribe the proper amount for your child.
Excessive fluoride in children can result in white marks on the still-developing permanent teeth, also known as Fluorosis. This is why only a small amount of toothpaste is recommended for young children when brushing. Young children tend to swallow toothpaste as they are still learning to develop good dental hygiene.
Fluoride treatments are not only important for a child’s oral health, they are also beneficial for adults. Kiessling Family Dental recommends fluoride for adults at risk as well. Many adults suffer from dry mouth, also called xerostomia, which can make them prone to tooth decay. Lack of saliva allows food particles to remain on teeth. Additionally, gum disease, also referred to as Periodontitis, leaves teeth and roots exposed to bacteria, increasing the risk of tooth decay.
Other risk factors for Adults Include:
Remember, good oral hygiene and regular dental visits along with fluoride are necessary to help prevent tooth decay. Fluoride alone is not enough. Good oral hygiene includes brushing teeth at least twice a day, flossing regularly, reducing sugary snacks and visiting your dentist. For more tips or ways to improve, please ask our dental team. We are here to help you.