How Important are Fluoride Treatments?

fluoride treatments

 

According to the American Dental Association, fluoride treatments have played a major role in reducing tooth decay over the last several years.  Fighting (and winning) the fight against cavities and tooth decay requires the power of fluoride! Fluoride and fluoridation are effective and safe options for retaining a healthy smile. Your team at Fort Collins Family and Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies will teach you the advantages of regular fluoride treatments and practices.

Two Forms of Fluoride Treatments: Topical and Systemic

When it comes to receiving the fluoride you need, there are two sources to consider: topical and systemic.  Learn about the differences between the two sources of fluoride and how you can best benefit. 

Topical Fluorides

Topical forms of fluoride can be either professionally or self-applied. Sources of self-applied fluoride include: toothpastes and mouthrinses fortified with fluoride or prescribed by your dentist. Professionally-applied fluoride treatments come as gels, foams or rinses, and are applied by a member of our Family and Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies during dental visits.  The concentration of fluoride in these professional fluoride treatments are higher so you don’t need them as frequently. Studies show that children who receive regular fluoride treatments–once every 6 months–may have up to 40% fewer cavities than those who do not.

Systemic Fluorides

Along with topical fluorides it is important that you are receiving systemic fluorides to ensure oral health and bone/teeth strength. Systemic fluorides are delivered to your teeth through your water supply and dietary supplements. 62% of the U.S. population that uses public water supplies has access to adequate levels of fluoride.  Water fluoridation has been proven to reduce decay in both children and adults. While water fluoridation is an extremely effective and inexpensive means of obtaining the fluoride necessary for optimal tooth decay prevention, not everyone lives in a community with a centralized, public or private water source that can be fluoridated. For those individuals, fluoride is available in other forms.

Fluoride supplements come in the form of drops, tablets and lozenges and can be prescribed by Drs. Willey and Murri if needed. These supplements are recommended for children 6 months of age to 16 years IF you they are living in non-fluoridated areas and at high risk for tooth decay.  This age group is targeted because it is during this time of their lives that they are developing teeth and permanent teeth are erupting. Teeth that are given an opportunity to thrive from the beginning have a better chance of remaining healthy throughout their lives.

 

A Comprehensive Examination to Assess Your Fluoride Needs

Drs. Willey and Murri can help you assess whether you are receiving adequate levels of fluoride for all family members from the two forms (topical and systemic). If you are at high risk for cavities, after a comprehensive examination and consultation with Drs. Willey and Murri, it may be recommended that additional preventive measures are taken.  Over-the-counter or prescription therapeutic products such as fluoride mouthrinses, gels or antibacterial mouthrinses can be effective at helping keep your tooth enamel strong and your mouth healthy.

The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests topical and systemic fluoride treatments for the effective prevention of dental decay.  During your comprehensive examination, we can assess if you are receiving adequate levels of fluoride from both topical and systemic sources.   It is important to note that the effective prevention of dental decay requires that the proper mix of both forms of fluoride (topical and systemic) be made available to individuals.

 

Risks that Necessitate Fluoride Use

According to the ADA, the following conditions put you more at risk for cavities and more in need of regular fluoride treatments:

  • poor oral hygiene
  • active cavities
  • eating disorders
  • drug or alcohol abuse
  • lack of regular professional dental care
  • active orthodontic treatment combined with poor oral hygiene
  • high levels of cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth
  • exposed root surfaces of teeth
  • decreased salivary flow, resulting in dry mouth
  • poor diet
  • existing restorations (fillings)
  • tooth enamel defects
  • undergoing head and neck radiation therapy

Routine examinations with your dentist can help you combat some of these conditions. Our experienced staff is here to help you get the help you need to combat the others and get you on your way to a healthier mouth and body.

Choose Your Fluoridation Products with Care

Consult with one of our staff at Fort Collins Family and Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies before purchasing any over-the-counter products that we haven’t already recommended to you. They are NOT all the same.  Reputable products should carry the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance. Products displaying the ADA Seal have been examined carefully by the ADA’s Council on Scientific Affairs and have met its criteria for safety and effectiveness.  Even then, you must follow the instructions carefully for these products and keep them away from young children. Too much fluoride can have disastrous effects on your teeth.

Schedule Your Fluoride Treatment Today

Professional fluoride treatments are an integral part of preventing cavities and periodontal disease and helping you maintain a healthy, white smile. To learn more about our fluoride treatments or to schedule an appointment, call our Fort Collins office today at (970) 223-6101. You can also send a contact request or make an appointment online using the form below.

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