Preventive Fluoride Treatment
According to the American Dental Association and American Dental Hygiene Association, the application of fluoride is the most effective agent available to help prevent tooth decay. Researchers have supported the fact that fluoride benefits have decreased the onset of tooth decay for over 60 years and can even reverse tooth decay at its early stage. When combined with proper at-home dental care by patients, the application of fluoride is very effective.
Sources of Fluoride:
- Topical fluoride is used by dentists and dental hygienists to strengthen tooth enamel on adults and children and found in many over-the-counter products such as toothpastes, mouth washes, and gels.
- Prescription strength fluoride toothpaste is also available for patients with cavities in the early stages to help reverse the decay process.
- It is recommended that children receive topical fluoride applications twice a year to prevent the onset of tooth decay.
- Systemic fluoride is most beneficial to children because it not only strengthens their erupted teeth, it helps mineralize the developing teeth and roots underneath the gums.
- There are many forms of systemic fluoride, with the majority being available through most foods and water supplies
- However, too much of anything may have the opposite effect, so if too much fluoride is given to children while their teeth are developing, there may white spots that appear on teeth, a condition called fluorosis.
It is important to remember that fluoride alone is not effective in preventing tooth decay. Using proper toothbrushing methods along with recommended tooth paste and floss, twice daily, along with limited sugar intake and regular dental visits is the most effective ways in preventing tooth decay.
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