Smile Pretty with the Help of Fluoride Therapy
Eighty years ago, researchers discovered that people who grew up drinking naturally fluoridated water had two-thirds fewer cavities. Studies continue to show that tooth decay decreases in communities that have fluoridated water. Fluoride helps harden enamel, and protects it from further decay. Fluoride is an important element to maintaining good oral hygiene, which is why it’s wise to brush and rinse with fluoridated products.
People at higher risk for tooth decay, including children who may have poor brushing habits, can also get fluoride supplements from the dentist. The process involves a gel or foam that is applied to teeth via a mouth tray. The fluoride supplement usually takes about four minutes, and will give the patient additional protection between regular dental checkups.
As important as fluoride is for the wellbeing of your teeth, it’s also possible to get too much. If you find that your teeth have streaks, spots, dark stains, or pitting, you may be suffering from fluorosis. This means you’re receiving too much fluoride exposure, and need to see your dentist immediately. This is especially important for young children, who can suffer serious effects from fluorosis.
If you have healthy teeth already, you live in a community with fluoridated public water, and you use fluoride dental products, you’re getting plenty of this essential mineral!