Fluoride treatments are a very important aspect of preventive care for your dental health. Regular fluoride use helps to prevent decay from taking place in the tooth enamel, and can actually reverse the very early stages of enamel breakdown. We include a fluoride treatment with every child’s regular hygiene cleaning.
There are two main types of fluoride: topical and systemic. Topical fluoride consists of brush-on gel, fluoride mouth rinses, and in-office fluoride paste applications, to name a few. Depending on your oral health status, fluoride treatments may be recommended every three, six or twelve months. Additional preventive measures may be recommended if you are at a particularly high risk for developing decay.
Systemic fluorides are those that are swallowed. The most common is the drinking of fluoridated water. Special dietary fluoride supplements can also be taken to increase the amount of fluoride in your system if recommended by your dentist. The best approach to fluoride treatments within preventive dentistry is a combination of both topical and systemic fluoride applications.
What is fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral that can help prevent caries (decay) from beginning, and can also arrest then reverse the very early, microscopic stages of developing caries.
How can I make sure to have enough fluoride to protect my teeth?
Drinking fluoridated water is the most important element in making sure that your body is receiving enough fluoride for your teeth. If you prefer to drink bottled water, make sure to use a dentist recommended fluoride rinse or brush-on gel. Additional fluoride treatments may be recommended by your dentist depending on your degree of risk for developing caries.
What factors can increase your risk of caries development?
- Poor oral hygiene
- Active caries
- Eating disorders
- drug/alcohol abuse
- lack of professional care
- active orthodontic treatment with poor home care
- High levels of bacteria in the mouth
- Exposed root surfaces
- decreased salivary flow (dry mouth)
- poor diet
- existing restorations (fillings)
- Tooth enamel defects
- Undergoing head/neck radiation therapy
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an evaluation appointment, call (615) 893-8771.