DENTIST DR EMIL JANSEN

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Fluoride

Fluoride not only reduces cavities in children and adults, but it also helps repair the early stages of tooth decay

 

What is fluoride?

 

 

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in all water sources, including the oceans. Research has shown that fluoride not only reduces cavities in children and adults, but it also helps repair the early stages of tooth decay, even before the decay is visible. Fluoride is the best cavity fighter to help keep the whole family's teeth strong — no matter their ages*

How does fluoride strengthen your teeth?

When it reaches your teeth, fluoride is absorbed into the enamel. It helps to repair the enamel by replenishing the lost calcium and phosphorous to keep your teeth hard. This process is caused remineralization. When fluoride is present during remineralization, the minerals deposited into the tooth enamel help strengthen your teeth and prevent dissolution during the next demineralization phase. Thus, fluoride helps stop the decay process and prevent tooth decay.

 

*Fluoride should only be used by children ages 2 and up, or as directed by a dentist

 

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Keys to good oral health

 

Another key to good oral health, other than brushing and flossing, is fluoride.
Fluoride is a mineral that helps prevent tooth decay and can repair teeth in the very early, microscopic stages of the disease.

 

Fluoride can be obtained in two forms

 

  • Topical fluorides are applied directly to the tooth enamel. Some examples include fluoride toothpastes and mouthwash, as well as fluoride treatments in the dental office.
  • Systemic fluorides are those that are swallowed. Examples include fluoridated water and dietary fluoride supplements.

 

The maximum reduction in tooth decay is achieved when fluoride is available both topically and systemically.
If you, or a family member, are at a moderate-to-high risk of developing caries, a professional fluoride treatment can help.
The fluoride preparation used in the dental office is a much stronger concentration than that in toothpastes or fluoride mouthwashes that may be available in a store or at a pharmacy.

 

Professional fluoride treatments

 

Professional fluoride treatments generally take just a few minutes.
The fluoride may be in the form of a solution, gel, foam or varnish.
Typically, it is applied with a cotton swab or brush, or it is used as a rinse or placed in a tray that is held in the mouth for several minutes.
After the treatment, you may be asked not to rinse, eat or drink for at least 30 minutes to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride and help repair microscopic carious areas.
Depending on your oral health status, fluoride treatments may be recommended every three, six or 12 months.
Your dentist also may recommend additional preventive measures if you are at a moderate or high risk of developing caries.
These measures may include over-the-counter or prescription therapeutic products such as fluoride mouthwashes, gels or antibacterial mouthwashes.
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