Dr. Strickland and his team at Spanish Trail Dentistry are committed to helping all our patients achieve and maintain optimal oral health. Part of our commitment to serving our patients is to provide information that helps them make more informed decisions about their oral health needs.
Fluoride is Effective at Preventing Tooth Decay
Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that is present in varying amounts in nearly all water supplies and foods. For decades, the benefits of fluoride have been recognized and supported by scores of health and professional organizations. Fluoride is the most effective agent available to help prevent tooth decay. It works to protect against tooth decay in two ways:
Topical fluoride keeps the teeth strong by working its way into the tooth enamel to make teeth resistant to decay. Topical fluoride is present in many toothpastes, mouth rinses and gels. Many dentists and dental hygienists recommend that children have fluoride topically applied to their teeth twice per year during routine dental checkups to help protect against tooth decay.
Systemic fluoride comes from most foods we eat as well as community water supplies. Systemic fluoride both strengthens developing teeth under the gum line as well as teeth which have already erupted. In addition to being found in food and water supplies, systemic fluoride is also available in drop and gel form and can also be prescribed by Dr. Strickland or your family doctor. Very young children are often given fluoride drops while older children and teens are given fluoride tablets. Monitoring the amount of fluoride a child ingests is very important. If too much fluoride is consumed while the teeth are developing, it can lead to white spots appearing on the teeth which is a condition called fluorosis.
Even though most people get an adequate amount of fluoride from the food and water they ingest, sometimes it is not a sufficient amount to ward off tooth decay. We may recommend fluoride treatments for the following reasons:
- If there are deep fissures and pits on the surface of the teeth
- If sensitive root surfaces of the teeth are exposed
- If the patient does an inadequate job of maintaining good oral hygiene
- If the patient consumes many sugary foods and foods high in carbohydrates
- If it is known that the patient is exposed to inadequate amounts of fluoride
- If not enough saliva is produced due to a medical condition, treatment or medications
- If the patient has a recent history of tooth decay
While fluoride is very helpful in helping to prevent tooth decay, it is still of the utmost importance that good oral hygiene is maintained in order to ward off dental decay. It's equally important to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and reduce the amounts of sugary snacks which are consumed. And of course, you should see your Pensacola dentist regularly for checkups and professional cleanings!
Contact Your Pensacola Dentist
If you have any questions about fluoride and its benefits, please don't hesitate to give us a call at (850) 444-9988 or contact us online as we're always happy to answer any questions you may have! We're here to help you achieve your best smile which is both healthy and attractive!