Fluoride additions are well documented as an effective prevention of tooth decay. Fluoride is naturally occurring, and is present in most foods and water. It has been well known that fluoride has assisted in dental care for more than 50 years. There are two different kinds of fluoride treatments that will help you avoid cavities:
Systemic fluoride treatment assists in the strengthening of teeth that have already erupted as well as those below the surface of the gums in children. Systemic fluoride is added to the body chemistry through drinking water and food, as it is present in both of these. There are also supplement fluoride gels and drops that can be prescribed by your dentist. The typical recommendation for infants is fluoride drops, and tablets are suggested for children up to 10 years old. It is quite important to keep close attention to the amount of fluoride that your child ingests in order to avoid a condition known as fluorosis, which is white spots being seen on teeth.
Topical fluoride is a supplement that strengthens teeth by being absorbed into the enamel, thus making the teeth more resistant to decay. This type of fluoride is available in toothpastes, gels and mouth rinses. Dentists recommend that all children and adults get a professional fluoride treatment at least twice per year. Although it is available in foods and water, it is not enough to prevent decay on its own. Professional fluoride treatments assist with the following:
- Prevention of pits in the surfaces of teeth.
- Help assist root surfaces which are exposed.
- Supplement poor oral hygiene habits.
- Help combat sugar and carbohydrate intake.
- Inadequate saliva flow.
- Dental decay.
Fluoride alone will not prevent tooth decay. Visit your dentist regularly and brush and floss your teeth every day.