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Why Fluoride is Your Friend and When to Get Professional Treatment from Your Dentist

Adults and children at risk for tooth decay should consider the benefits of fluoride treatments and fight against plaque.

In addition to practicing a healthy oral hygiene routine, at any age you can protect your teeth by making use of one particular cavity-fighting weapon: fluoride treatments. Fluoride actively helps fight against tooth decay and can even re-mineralize tooth enamel. This helps to strengthen your teeth and protect weak areas from acids that cause cavities. While fluoride is available in water supplies, toothpastes, and other dental care products, you can ask your Little Rock dentist about professional fluoride treatments if you are concerned about your oral health.

Where Does Fluoride Come From?

Fluoride is actually a mineral that contains the natural element of fluorine. Many people get their partial intake of fluoride from their community’s water supplies. Arkansas’ natural water sources already have fluoride in them, but communities can choose to increase their water’s fluoride levels to better help their residents. Research shows that fluoridated water reduces tooth decay by 25% when used regularly, helping to repair decay before you even notice it.

Those who are at greater risk of tooth decay may also seek fluoride treatments or fluoride-infused products from their dentist or local drug store. You should ask your dentist about toothpastes, mouth rinses, and gels that are best for you.

Who Needs Fluoride Treatments?

Anyone at any age who is risk for or experiencing significant tooth decay should consult a dentist about fluoride treatments.

Adults particularly in need of fluoride treatments include the following:

  • Patients undergoing radiation treatment for cancer
  • Those with dry mouth or an inhibited saliva flow
  • Sufferers of gum recession
  • Recent receivers of other dental work, such as dental crowns, braces, or bridges
  • Individuals suffering from sensitive teeth

At your dentist’s office, a topical fluoride treatment is available to anyone who needs it. Children are typically covered until the age of 18 for these treatments under dental insurance, but check your plan to see if both you and your children apply. Though you may no longer be covered by insurance, adults over the age of 18 should consider fluoride treatments to protect your teeth from possible decay.

As children grow and their teeth develop, it is vital to set them on a path towards proper oral hygiene. At your Little Rock dentist’s recommendation, consider incorporating fluoride toothpaste into their daily routine. Children under the age of three should brush twice a day with just a smear of fluoride toothpaste. Those between the ages of three and six should use pea-sized amounts. Children and adults after the age of five should use regular, brush-sized amounts of fluoride toothpaste.

Be certain to keep other fluoride supplements out of the hands of children, as too much may lead to fluorosis, a condition that actually damage tooth enamel.

The expert staff at Arkansas Family Dental in Little Rock can give you an individualized evaluation for fluoride treatments and other preventative dental care. Call us today at 501.683.8886 to schedule an appointment and talk about making your smile even brighter.
 
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Samaria Mascagni

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