Yearly professional application of fluoride may not be enough. If the dentist decides that such treatments are indicated, they should be performed every six months and, for high risk patients, four times a year.
Fluoride, a mineral found naturally in most foods and many water supplies is an essential component of tooth enamel (a tooth's hard outer surface). Water fluoridation is the process of adjusting the level of fluoride to the concentration necessary for protection against tooth decay. Fluoride can strengthen tooth enamel, help resist decay and reduce the effects of plaque (hard build up on the tooth's surface). It also can prevent new cavities from getting larger and keep cavities from forming at the roots of teeth in adults whose gums have begun to recede or who have undergone periodontal surgery.
The application of fluoride is a tremendous deterrent to cavities, but must be carefully applied, following strict dental guidelines. This is where the experience and training of one of our dental hygienists comes to the forefront, with proper procedures and complete follow up instructions.
There also are other ways to get the benefits of fluoride. One of these is fluoride supplements (vitamins), dietary fluoride drops and tablets as prescribed primarily by pediatricians to children who have limited access to other forms of systematic fluoride. Fluoride mouth rinses and toothpastes containing fluoride can also help if used diligently. Finally, there is a program of brush-on fluoride gel that may be suggested by your hygienist or dentist.
The benefits of fluoride have been well proven. The method or treatment most appropriate for you will be discussed with you during your hygiene visit. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask your dentist, or our hygienists.
If you have any questions or concern about fluoride, please give us a call today at (818) 465-7777