1. What is Fluoride?
Fluoride exists naturally in water sources and is derived from fluorine, the thirteenth most common element in the Earth’s crust. It is well known that fluoride helps prevent and even reverse the early stages of tooth decay. Fluoride prevents the acid produced by the bacteria in plaque from dissolving tooth enamel. Fluoride cannot repair cavities, but it can reverse low levels of tooth decay and thus prevent new cavities from forming. Fluoride is the only known substance that will actually strengthen teeth and make them harder.
2. Does Fluoride Really Make a Difference?
Over the last several years tooth decay has been reduced dramatically due to fluoride. According to the American Dental Association, research has shown that fluoride reduces cavities by up to 40% in children and 35% in adults.
3. How Does Fluoride Help Children?
Children benefit from fluoride both by ingesting it; in a supplement form and by the fluoride found in toothpaste and rinses. Fluoride works best in children while teeth are forming. This helps both primary and permanent teeth. Starting at birth, and until all permanent teeth have fully erupted, ingested fluoride helps strengthen teeth as they are forming. Topical fluoride helps people of all ages. Ask about flouride treatments at your dentists in Sugar Land.
4. Does My Child Need Fluoride Supplements?
Research shows that community water fluoridation has lowered decay rates by over 50 percent, which means that fewer children grow up with cavities. Most city water is fluoridated but if your family uses well water or bottled water, you should have your water tested to see if there is adequate natural fluoride, or if a fluoride supplement is needed. If adequate fluoride is not present, your child may need a prescription fluoride supplement from your dentists in Sugar land.
5. Does Fluoride Benefit Adults, Too?
Topical fluoride helps people of all ages by stopping the progression of a newly formed cavity and preventing root cavities. Fluoride is also helpful for patients with sensitive teeth. At your regular check-up, your dentist will evaluate your particular situation to determine if additional fluoride treatments are needed.
Your family or pediatric dentists in Suagr Land is a great resource for information about dental care and fluoride needs. A dentist can help you understand more about how fluoride affects the teeth, and once all of your child’s primary teeth have come in, may recommend regular topical fluoride during routine dental visits.