What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a natural mineral compound found in water and on land. It is also present in foods and beverages in different concentrations.
Fluoride helps prevent cavities by making the entire tooth surface more resistant to the acids of the bacteria that live on the plaque of your teeth. Fluoride also promotes remineralization (the addition of minerals, such as calcium, back into the teeth), which helps to repair early stage decay before a cavity forms within the tooth.
Benefits of Getting Fluoride
Fluoride is advised to prevent tooth decay and cavities. This product gives three benefits to the teeth: it increases the resistance of the enamel, it’s antibacterial, which means it acts against the growth of bacteria that produce tartar and allows the enamel layer to remineralize.
When is Fluoride necessary?
Dental fluoride is necessary throughout our lives, but it is in the infant stage where it has more beneficial effects since "baby" teeth are in the process of formation. Our dentist recommends not to use fluoride under the age of 2 because it can cause fluorosis in the developing permanent teeth. Fluoride is also necessary when you have stained teeth due to high consumption of coffee, tea, wine or cigarettes.
Is Fluoride Safe?
There are two kinds of fluoride applications:
Topical fluoride is applied directly to the dental surface and is absorbed. It is found in personal oral hygiene products such as toothpaste and mouth rinses that contain a safe and effective fluoride concentration to fight tooth decay. These products are rinsed in the mouth without swallowing them.
Professional topical administration of fluorides, such as foams, gels or enamels, are applied by a dentist who will allow it to act for a few minutes, often during a cleansing treatment. For patients with a high risk of tooth decay, the dentist may prescribe a special gel or toothpaste for daily use at home. So, yes it’s safe.
All adults should use a fluoride toothpaste that has been proven to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride toothpaste is also a measure you can take to prevent cavities. Home treatments for adults, mostly in gel form, require a medical prescription based on the patient’s needs.
If you have any concerns about fluoride treatment, please contact our dentist in Santa Clarita. Our friendly staff will more than gladly assist you.