Fluoride can occur naturally in food and water and it can also be man made in a number of forms. Fluoride can be very helpful in preventing dental decay when it is used properly. As with any substance when it is abused or used improperly it can have major negative affects.
Water fluoridation has been around for a long time. Community water supplies that have been fluoridated is the number one factor that affects the amount of fluoride the average person receives. The American Dental Association says “Community water fluoridation is the single most effective public health measure to prevent tooth decay”. The CDC listed it as one of the biggest advancements of the twentieth century. It helps children, adults and the elderly in having a reduced number of cavities. For that matter tooth decay can be reduced 20-40% through water fluoridation.
Sometimes water fluoridation isn’t enough, sometimes you need additional fluoride to help. People with braces are one example. Having braces on your teeth allows more plaque and other acids to accumulate along the edges of those braces. It is important to make sure that you brush well in these areas, yet, sometimes that alone isn’t enough. Using a home fluoride after you brush your teeth can help those of us more prone to decay to help prevent some of those dental problems.
Home fluorides can also help some patients that have sensitivity issues. Studies have shown that the use of these fluorides can greatly help reduce sensitivity in many cases.
We also like to see our patients that are going to have any type of teeth whitening use a fluoride in their tooth whitening trays to help reduce sensitivity prior to going through their tooth whitening procedure. Our office has found that this effectively reduces tooth sensitivity in 95% of these cases.
Listen To The Advice of Your Dental Professional
One of the most important things you can do is listen to your dentist or hygienist. They can let you know the following;
- How cavity prone you are,
- They can determine why you may have tooth sensitivity,
- They can determine if extra fluoride though gels or rinses is needed due to the medications you take.
Make sure you visit your dentist and hygienist at least twice a year or as recommended to stay on top of these situations.
Fluoride Is Beneficial
The use of fluoride through drinking water, food and dental aides can reduce sensitivity and greatly reduce cavities when used properly under the advice of your dental office.