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
Fluoride works in two ways:
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 gain topical fluoride 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.
Systemic fluoride strengthens the teeth that have erupted 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. Generally, fluoride
drops are recommended for infants, and tablets are best suited for
children up through the teen years. It is very important to monitor the
amounts of fluoride a child ingests. If too much fluoride is consumed
while the teeth are developing, a condition called fluorosis (white
spots on the teeth) may result.
Although most people
receive 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
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
You are welcome to schedule an appointment today!