Fluoride is the most effective agent available to help prevent tooth decay. It is a mineral that is naturally present in varying amounts in almost all foods and water supplies.
For more than 50 years, the benefits of fluoride have been well known. These are supported by many health and professional organizations.
How Fluoride Works
This type of fluoride strengthens the teeth once they have erupted by seeping into the outer surface of the tooth enamel. Additionally, this makes the teeth more resistant to decay.
We gain topical fluoride for our clients in Philadelphia and nearby areas in Pennsylvania by using dental products which contain fluoride, such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, and gels. Dr. Presser and all dental hygienists at Presser Dental Group generally recommend that children have a professional application of fluoride twice a year during dental checkups.
This type of fluoride strengthens the teeth that have erupted, as well as those that are developing under the gums. We gain systemic fluoride from most foods and our community water supplies. It is available as a supplement in drop or gel form. This can also be prescribed by your dentist or physician.
Generally, fluoride drops are recommended for infants while tablets are best suited for children up through the teen years. It is very important to monitor the amounts of fluoride a child ingests. If too much fluoride is consumed while the teeth are developing, a condition called fluorosis (white spots on the teeth) may result.
Although most people receive fluoride from food and water, sometimes, it is not enough to help prevent decay. Dr. Presser and our dental hygienists may recommend the use of home and/or professional fluoride treatments for the following reasons:
Deep Pits and Fissures on the Chewing Surfaces of Teeth
Exposed and Sensitive Root Surfaces
Fair to Poor Oral Hygiene Habits
Frequent Sugar and Carbohydrate Intake
Inadequate Exposure to Fluorides
Inadequate Saliva Flow Due to Medical Conditions, Medical Treatments, or Medications
Recent History of Dental Decay
Remember, fluoride alone will not prevent tooth decay! It is important to brush at least twice a day, floss regularly, eat balanced meals, reduce sugary snacks, and visit us on a regular basis.