Fluoride and Decay Prevention
Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that has been shown to help strengthen teeth in children and also prevent decay in people of all ages. Topical fluoride is especially helpful for promoting oral health. The American Dental Association has publicly endorsed the use of fluoride for the prevention of dental caries, as has the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association.
Did you know … that you might be drinking fluoride every day without knowing it? Many communities add fluoride to the public water supply in an effort to promote better dental health. You can find out if there is fluoride in your tap water by contacting your local water utility. Keep in mind that if your primary source of drinking water is bottled, you may not be getting fluoride. You can contact your bottle water company or manufacturer to find out if fluoride is in your water. If not, speak with your dentist about getting professional fluoride treatments.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need fluoride treatments?
You may need fluoride treatments if your drinking water is not fluoridated or if you are experiencing certain symptoms such as receding gums. Fluoride treatments can also provide oral support and prevent decay if you wear orthodontic braces or are taking medications that cause dry mouth.
What should I expect during fluoride treatments?
Fluoride treatments are painless and can be administered in your dentist’s office at your regular check-ups and cleanings. Your dentist will distribute fluoridated gel, foam, or varnish into a tray and place it over your teeth. The treatment takes only a few minutes and is only required between one and four times per year.
Is there anything I can do to supplement my fluoride treatments?
Yes. The ADA recommends supplementing your fluoridated drinking water or fluoride treatments with a fluoridated toothpaste.