Fluoride Treatment – McKinney, TX
Your Extra Layer of Cavity Protection
As your family dentist, we are always focused on the prevention of dental disease. When we think about prevention of dental decay, fluoride has always been a key factor. Fluoride is a mineral compound found in the earth’s crust. It is also found in certain foods and beverages in varying concentrations.
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How Does Fluoride Help Prevent Decay?
In our oral cavity, there is a natural process called demineralization where minerals are lost from teeth surface due to acids produced by bacteria. Fluoride releases calcium and phosphate ions that help re-mineralize enamel and make it stronger and more resistant to breakdown by these acids. Due to this remineralization process minerals are constantly added to the teeth and so fluoride also helps in stopping and reversing decay in very early signs of cavity formation. There are two forms in which fluoride is found: Topical which means it must applied directly to tooth surfaces and examples would be fluoride tooth paste, mouth wash, and fluoride gel. Systemic which means it must be swallowed and examples include fluoridated water and fluoride supplements.
Who Can Have Fluoride?
Fluoride can be applied in the dental office as early as 4 years of age and can be used effectively on adults as well. In some situations, like people with high risk of having cavities, in certain medical conditions and medications and in the presence of gum disease, a higher strength of fluoride may be needed to control and prevent dental decay. Fluoride in office is usually advised every six months to a year or sooner depending upon your risk of having decay.
Toothpaste & Mouth Rinses With Fluoride
Using a fluoride containing toothpaste and mouth rinse has been shown to prevent dental decay and maintain the overall health of teeth. Brushing, flossing and using a mouth rinse in between meals is recommended.
Fluoride & Children
For children under the age of 3, you should start brushing their teeth once they begin to appear. Use a small amount of fluoride toothpaste in the amount of a small smear, around the size of a grain of rice.
For children between 3 and 6 years old, that amount of fluoride toothpaste can be increased to a pea-sized amount.