One of the greatest breakthroughs in preventive dentistry is the use of fluoride.
Almost all water naturally contains some fluoride, but not in sufficient quantity to protect teeth.
Many American cities add some fluoride to the water supply to bring it up to the levels that help prevent tooth decay.
The benefits of fluoride
Fluoride has many benefits for people of all ages. When children are young and their teeth are forming, fluoride joins with the structure of the tooth, making the enamel surface harder and more resistant to decay.
The benefits for adults are also important. Fluoride can help repair a cavity in its earliest stages before it has become visible in the mouth. Fluoride rebuilds the enamel layer of the tooth.
Fluoride treatments are sometimes prescribed to help eliminate the bacteria that causes gum disease. Fluoride treatments for older adults help to treat decay on tooth roots and to minimize root sensitivity.
For these reasons, we recommend fluoride toothpaste for all of our patients. We may also recommend additional sources of fluoride for you to use at home. Depending on your situation, these could include fluoride drops, tables, rinses, gels, or high-concentration fluoride toothpaste.
We may also apply fluoride foam, varnish, or gels in our office.
Fluoride is an important part of every prevention program. When combined with the good dental habits of brushing and flossing, fluoride can dramatically reduce cavities and keep your mouth healthy.