One of the best ways to prevent tooth decay is through the use of fluoride treatments. Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in almost all foods and water sources. It has been used to aid and improve oral health for decades, and its benefits have been recognized by health organizations around the globe.
Topical fluoride reinforces teeth that have already erupted from the gums by infiltrating the tooth enamel and bolstering it so it can resist the decaying process. Topical fluoride can be found in products like toothpaste, gels, and mouth rinses. At Empress Walk Dental, we give our patients under the age of 18 a professional fluoride treatment at each of their bi-annual checkups.
Systemic fluoride reinforces teeth that are still developing beneath the gums in addition to the teeth that have already emerged from the gum-line. This type of fluoride is commonly found in public water supplies and many foods.
You can also get fluoride prescribed as a drop or gel by your doctor or your Empress Walk Dental dentist. Typically, in cases where extra fluoride is needed, infants use fluoride drops and children that are toddlers through teenagers use fluoride tablets.
Do not be tempted to go crazy with the extra fluoride – if your child ingests too much fluoride while their teeth are still developing, they could end up with fluorosis, which is a condition characterized by white spots on the teeth. You should always ask your Empress Walk Dental dentist before incorporating any extra fluoride into your child’s oral health regimen.
Though food and water do a fine job of meeting most people’s fluoride needs, at times additional fluoride is needed to keep decay away. Your Empress Walk Dental dentist or dental hygienist is adept at recognizing when a home and/or professional fluoride treatment might be required.
Brushing twice daily, flossing regularly, eating nutritious meals and fewer sugary snacks, and visiting us at Empress Walk Dental on a regular basis all contribute to good oral health and the longevity of your pearly whites.