Years ago, it was almost impossible to avoid cavities. Even those who flossed and brushed regularly still had problems with their teeth. Over the last several decades, with the help of research and science, tooth decay has decreased dramatically for those who pay close attention to the recommendations of their dentist.
Statistics suggest that the application of fluoride can significantly reduce the occurrence of cavities for adults and children. Even after tooth decay has begun, fluoride can help to repair the area. When used correctly, fluoride is both effective, safe and has been shown to improve oral health, which can be linked to improved general health.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is naturally present in all water sources. Fluorine is abundant in the earth’s crust, but exists in nature only when it is combined with other elements to create a fluoride compound.
Fluoride works in several ways to prevent tooth decay by:
- Strengthening teeth
- Increasing the resistance to acid attacks
- Repairing areas where tooth decay is present
- Creating a surface that is decay resistant
Acid is created when bacteria in plaque break down sugars and carbohydrates. Cavities are formed after several acid attacks eventually break down the teeth. Fluoride protects the teeth by strengthening them and preparing them to fight off acid attacks.
How is Fluoride Applied?
Fluoride comes in two separate forms. Topical fluoride is found in certain mouthwash and toothpastes and can be professionally applied by a dentist at Oakville Place Dental Office.
Systemic fluoride is ingested and works its way into the teeth through the body. When systemic fluoride is used, teeth are even more protected as the saliva contains part of the fluoride treatment and constantly bathes the teeth in strengthening compounds. Systemic fluoride is applied through fluoride supplements such as drops, lozenges or tablets, and also through water fluoridation.
Where is Fluoride Found?
Some communities apply fluoride to their water systems to ensure that residents have what they need to fight tooth decay. Statistics suggest that tooth decay is reduced by 20-40% when fluoride is applied to the water.
We can help you determine if fluoride treatments are covered by your insurance plan. It is helpful to remember that some insurance plans have yearly allowances per person, and if you don’t use up the allowance, you may lose it.
Get the Fluoride You Need
When correctly applied, fluoride is a valuable tool in the fight against tooth decay. To protect and strengthen your teeth with fluoride, visit us at Oakville Place Dental Office. Schedule your next appointment today, and our dentists can help you determine if your water source is providing enough fluoride or if an additional treatment would be beneficial to you and your family.