Fluoride is an important part of our preventive care services. In the past fifty years, the widespread use of fluoride has had a dramatic effect in decreasing the number and severity of cavities in people of all ages.
Most water naturally contains some fluoride, and many cities add additional fluoride to their water supplies in order to supply optimal amounts to their residents. This systemic source of fluoride is most beneficial when teeth are in the developmental stages when it can be incorporated into the formation of the enamel layer, forming a denser, protective outer enamel layer that is more resistant to decay.
Importance of Fluoride Treatments
However, once the tooth is fully developed, there is no blood supply to the outer enamel layer, and therefore this systemic source of fluoride becomes limited in its ability to prevent decay. That’s why we recommend the use of topical forms of fluoride on a regular basis to help prevent cavities and stop or slow down the progression of early areas of enamel breakdown. Fluoride can be found in many over the counter toothpastes and rinses. In addition, we may recommend supplemental sources of fluoride for increased protection, such as prescription drops, gels or toothpastes for home use. We also frequently administer topical fluoride treatments or apply fluoride varnishes following dental cleanings in our office for patients of all ages.
Make a commitment to improve your preventive care program with fluoride supplementation. When combined with good oral hygiene and regular dental visits, fluoride can dramatically reduce the number of cavities in both children and adults!