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Fluoride Treatment

Fluoride is the most effective substance available to help prevent tooth decay. It occurs naturally in varying amounts in almost all foods and water supplies. The benefits of fluoride have been well known for over 50 years and have been endorsed by numerous health and labor organizations.

Fluoride works in two ways:

Topical fluoride

Topical fluoride penetrates the outside of the tooth once it erupts and strengthens the tooth, making it more resistant to decay We get topical fluoride through dental treatments such as toothpastes, rinses and by using gel. Dentists and dental hygienists generally recommend that adults and children have a professional application of fluoride twice a year during dental check-ups.

Systemic fluoride

Endogenous fluoride also strengthens cracked teeth and undergrowth in the gums. We get systemic fluoride from most foods and our local water supply. If needed, it is also available as a supplement. Monitoring your child’s fluoride levels is very important. If too much fluoride is consumed as the teeth grow, a condition called fluorosis (white spots on the teeth) can develop.
Although most people get fluoride from food and water, it sometimes helps prevent decay. Your dentist or dental professional may recommend using home and/or commercial fluoride treatments for the following reasons:
  • Deep pits and cracks on chewing teeth.
  • Exposed and sensitive root surfaces.
  • Fair to poor oral hygiene habits.
  • Frequent sugar and carbohydrate intake.
  • Inadequate exposure to fluorides.
  • Insufficient bone density due to medical conditions, treatments, or medications.
  • Recent history of dental decay.

Remember, fluoride alone will not prevent tooth decay! It is important to brush at least twice a day, floss regularly, eat balanced meals, reduce sugary snacks, and visit your dentist on a regular basis.