Your Fluoride Questions Answered

Written by on March 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

Hello Edmonds, Shoreline, and all of King and Snohomish counties,

Outside of metal restorations and X-rays, the third most debated topic in Oral Health is the use of Fluoride.

What is it?
Why do we need it?

Lets take a look at this valuable mineral and explore.

Since the 1940’s Fluoride has been a crucial product in dental offices across the United States. As knowledge and technology advance; scientists work to improve the quality of Fluoride. Starting out as only water fluoridation this anti-cavity agent has now progressed to topical and systemic application as well. Fluoride is commonly known agent and has only benefits to offer for its patients.
Systemic Fluoride is either an intentional or unintentional source that people consume which contains traces of Fluoride. Fluoridated water and Fluoridated supplements such as milk, salt and foods are a good, intentional way to supply additional fluoride to the teeth. Unintentional ways to increase fluoride is by ingesting well water, foods, fluoride toothpaste, medications and bottled water; these all contain a sufficient amount of fluoride.

Fluorides benefit is primarily to prevent demineralization and increase remineralization. Remineralization strengthens the teeth and decreases the risk of acid attacks to ones precious smile.
In-office Fluorides include varnishes, gels, foams and rinses. Use and frequency should be monitored and considered by the Dentist beforehand, based on the patients risk level and ADA recommendations. Varnish is more effective in treating caries in the primary dentition (Including childhood caries) and the permanent dentition. Recent studies have shown reductions in the coronal and root caries as well as the recurrent caries. The Gel/ Foam type agents are another efficient way to apply Fluoride; they have a lower dose amount, which reduces people’s risk of ingestion. Gels and Foams are not intended for use in children under the age of 6. Rinses are the least effective in the Dental Office, so much as the ADA does not recommend the use of them In-Office.
However significant caries reductions have been observed from the use of a daily Fluoride rinse with 0.05% sodium Fluoride.
The ADA recommends that professional judgment regarding the specific risks or Fluoride types is required by Doctors. A person can be determined as a high, moderate or low risk patient at any given time. Children under the age of 6 should be treated with Varnish; but age 6 and over should be treated with either a Varnish or a 4 minute Fluoride Gel. These treatments should be given 0-4 times per year, depending on the patients risk level. Higher risk patients of any age should be seen on average 2-4 times a year, states the American Dental Association (ADA). Moderate risk patients should be seen approximately 2 times per year; but low risk patients may be of no benefit to yearly Fluoride treatment.
In conclusion, Fluoride is used by Dentists to strengthen and remineralize teeth, helping them stay healthy and appealing. In-Office applications are recommended most by the ADA; but some home-use fluorides help to strengthen teeth as well. As long as Dentists know your oral risk to Fluoride and are fully aware of your oral hygiene habits treatment will be a breeze. Fluoride treatment is a decision worthy of making and will help patients short and long term because of its many benefits it has so offer. Talk to us, and then choose Fluoride!
Thanks for reading, and keep flossing
Dr Etue, DMD

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