Why Is Fluoride Treatment Important?
It helps prevent tooth decay in two ways:
Topical application of fluoride, such as with toothpaste or mouthwash, benefits teeth that are already present in the mouth (erupted). Teeth absorb the topical fluoride and incorporate it into their structure. This creates teeth that are more resistant to decay. Topical fluoride can also help to harden and strengthen areas that are already in the beginning stages of decay.
Systemic fluoride benefits teeth that are still forming. By ingesting fluoride, it is available in the body and can be built into the structure of the new teeth. This allows teeth to erupt, which are stronger and more resistant to decay. Some systemic fluoride is present in saliva, so that it can provide a topical benefit as well. Systemic fluoride can come from drinking water, supplements, as well as certain food sources.
It is a common misconception that fluoride is recommended for children only.
Many adults can benefit from fluoride as well.
When You Visit
Children … Click to open this link in the same window … and adults should have a caries (cavity) risk assessment by their dentist on their first visit. The dentist … Click to open this link in the same window … will take into account the patient’s history of cavities (and for children, their parent’s history of cavities), habits, diet, oral hygiene, dental health, and overall health. Patients at an increased risk for
cavities may have fluoride recommended by their dentist. … Click to open this link in the same window …
To avoid future dental problems, ask us what fluoride treatment can do for you.