The use of fluoride is one of the best ways to help prevent cavities in children and adults. At Rangel Dental, we offer professional fluoride treatment and a wide range of preventive dental services that can help your whole family achieve and maintain optimal oral health.
What Is Fluoride?
Dental caries is one of the most widespread chronic diseases in the world. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that has been used to help prevent tooth decay and cavities for decades. It is found in many foods, in water and throughout nature. Fluoride is often added to toothpastes, other oral care products and public water supplies to help protect teeth from decay.
How Does Fluoride Protect Your Teeth?
Fluoride is especially helpful for children because it helps protect young teeth from damaging acid that’s created when bacteria in the mouth combine with sugars. On a daily basis, minerals are lost and added to the enamel of the teeth. When fluoride is absorbed into the enamel, it helps with remineralization, the process in which enamel is repaired and strengthened by the replenishing of calcium and phosphorous. Decay occurs when there is too much demineralization without enough remineralization to restore enamel. Fluoride not only facilitates reminineralization, it helps to prevent the dissolution of minerals during demineralization, which can keep enamel strong and prevent or even reverse tooth decay.
Types Of Fluoride Treatment
Fluoride is most effective when it is administered both systemically and topically. Fluoridated water and dietary fluoride supplements are examples of systemic administration of fluoride. Toothpaste and mouthwash that contain fluoride deliver it topically, as do professional fluoride treatments your child receives in our office.
Professional Topical Fluoride Treatment
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), professional topical fluoride treatments are effective in reducing dental decay in children, especially kids in high-risk categories for dental caries. The high concentration of fluoride in these treatments strengthens tooth enamel and prevents decay. Quick and painless, professional dental fluoride treatment for children is typically applied to teeth using a varnish, gel or foam applied with a cotton swab or brush, and it takes just a few minutes. Patients should refrain from eating or drinking for at least 30 minutes following treatment to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride and help repair areas of decay. Frequency of fluoride treatment depends on your child’s age, oral health, risk factors for decay and any other dental issues they may have. It may be recommended every 6-12 months, and your dentist may also recommend additional preventive measures such as dental sealants.
Is Fluoride Safe For Children?
The AAPD, ADA and CDC have all deemed fluoridated water to be safe and effective for children and adults. Overexposure to fluoride can cause a condition called fluorosis, which can cause staining and pits in children’s teeth. That’s why it is vital to monitor and supervise young children’s use of toothpaste, supplements and other oral health products that contain fluoride. The AAPD recommends using just a tiny smear of fluoridated toothpaste from when your child’s first tooth appears until they reach 3 years of age. At age 3, a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste should be used when brushing teeth. Our dentists can answer any questions you may have about the professional and at-home use of fluoride and provide hygiene instruction on how to properly care for your children’s teeth. Making sure your child visits their dentist for regular checkups and cleanings also helps keep teeth and gums healthy and helps us detect early decay and other problems.
Contact Us To Learn More About Fluoride Treatment
Our experienced and compassionate team of dental professionals is committed to providing top-notch dental care to patients of all ages. To learn more about professional fluoride treatment and the other services we offer, contact Rangel Dental online or call 973-292-0001 to schedule an appointment today.