The most effective adjunctive agent in helping to prevent tooth decay is fluoride. This mineral is naturally present in almost all foods and water supplies. Many health and professional organizations strongly support the benefits of fluoride. There are 2 distinctly different mechanisms by which fluoride works: topically and systemically.
Topical fluoride strengthens teeth once they have erupted into the mouth by infiltrating the outer surface of tooth enamel, making teeth more resistant to decay. Topical fluoride can be received through toothpaste and mouth rinse, as well as professional applications by a Dentist or Hygienist. While topical fluoride application still has value on adult teeth, it is highly recommended that all children receive 2 applications of topical fluoride per year in conjunction with their check-ups.
Systemic fluoride can strengthen teeth that are already present in the mouth, but also works effectively on teeth that are still developing below the gums. Most systemic fluoride is gained through food and water, although sometimes this is not enough to prevent tooth decay. It is also available as a drop or tablet supplement prescribed by a Dentist or Physician. It is vitally important to monitor amounts of fluoride ingested by children, as too much can cause white spots (fluorosis) to develop.
Fluoride alone will not prevent tooth decay. Good oral hygiene practices and regular visits to your Dentist are extremely important.
If you have any questions or concerns about Fluoride Treatment, please don't hesitate to discuss them with your Dentist in the office or call Dental Arts of Boynton Beach at (561) 767-9595.