The greatest breakthrough in preventative dentistry during the last fifty years has been the use of fluoride. Almost all water naturally contains some fluoride. About two-thirds of American cities add additional fluoride to the water supply for the prevention of tooth decay. In fact, fluoridation of public water systems can reduce cavities in baby teeth by 60 percent and those in permanent teeth by 35 percent.
The Benefits of Fluoride
There are many benefits of using fluoride – regardless of your age. When children are young and their teeth are forming, fluoride joins with the enamel surface, making it harder and more resistant to decay.
The benefits for adults are just as great. Fluoride can help repair an early cavity — even before it’s become visible in the mouth — by rebuilding the enamel layer of the teeth. Fluoride is also helpful in older adults, as it helps prevent cavities in the tooth root as well as root sensitivity.
Sources of Fluoride
At Smiles by Holsinger & Higgins, we recommend fluoride toothpaste to all of our patients. We may also recommend additional sources of fluoride for them to use at home, including fluoride drops, tablets, or prescription toothpaste. Fluoride rinses or gels are sometimes prescribed to help eliminate germs that cause gum disease.
We may also apply fluoride to your teeth immediately following a dental cleaning in our office. A topical gel is applied with the use of a tray or cotton applicator directly on the teeth.
Fluoride is an important part of every prevention program. When combined with brushing and flossing, the number of cavities in children and adults can be dramatically reduced by using fluoride.
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