Why Our Family Dentistry Office Uses Fluoride

Posted on: March 17, 2015

Family Dentistry

In our family dentistry office, we recommend fluoride as a way to help strengthen teeth.  In fact, we recommend that children and teens have a fluoride treatment at least once per year.  Adults can also benefit from fluoride, making toothpaste containing it our preferred choice. While most of our patients are familiar with fluoride, in general, few know why it is so beneficial for the teeth.  With that in mind, here is what you should know.

Fluorine occurs all around you.  In fact, if you go to the park, it is probably in the dirt that you walk on and the air that you breathe along with some of the food that you snack on.  While found in nature, you cannot get enough of it through these means, making it important to get fluoride from another source.  Due to its ability to decrease the risk of getting cavities, fluoride is now being put into the water supply of over 10,000 communities across the country.  If you have public water, simply drinking a glass can help your teeth.  For those that don’t have public water or are at risk for cavities, an in-office fluoride treatment is highly recommended.  By either drinking it or having it applied to the teeth, your risk of getting a cavity will go down by thirty percent.

If you visit our family dentistry office, there is a good chance that we will talk to you about fluoride.  If we recommend you having a treatment, this can be done quickly during your teeth cleaning appointment.  In fact, the fluoride varnish typically only sits on your teeth for 4 minutes before being absorbed by the enamel.  The varnish itself doesn’t have much of a taste or odor, so it is pleasant for young children and teens.  Afterward, we recommend avoiding drinking or eating anything for an hour to make sure that it isn’t accidentally washed off of the teeth.  At home, you can continue to benefit by brushing with a fluoride toothpaste two to three times per day.

How fluoride helps you –

Teeth naturally go through a process called demineralization.  This happens when the enamel wears away or starts to get soft.  Due to the diet you eat, how aggressively you brush your teeth, your oral hygiene, and how frequently you visit the dentist, demineralization can either speed up or be slowed down.  As it occurs, teeth are more susceptible to tooth decay.  In order to combat this, your teeth need to be strengthened through remineralization.  The best way to do so is with the application of fluoride.  Once the enamel absorbs fluoride, the teeth will instantly be stronger.  Simultaneously, you can eat a diet of dairy products, green leafy veggies, nuts, and lean protein to further remineralize your teeth.  In our family dentistry office, we see that when teeth are stronger, they can combat tooth decay and reverse the damage of it in the early stages.  In this way, fluoride decreases the number of cavities you may get and can help to prevent other damage as well.

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