Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Why Is Fluoride Treatment Important?

Minerals and vitamins are the building blocks of our body's overall health and immune system. Calcium, for example, helps us grow strong bones and teeth, while potassium plays an important part in nerve function and muscle control. In a similar fashion, our teeth benefit from fluoride. 

What is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral found in the earth's crust and in foods such as fish, and tea. Fluoride is also added to treated water supplies, in addition to toothpaste and mouthwash. It strengthens developing tooth enamel during infancy and early childhood years. This typically happens before the teeth push through the gum tissue. Fluoride also helps strengthen the enamel found on permanent teeth, which reduces the effects of acidic bacteria on teeth and gums.

The benefits of fluoride have been extensively researched and documented since the early 1900's, when scientists discovered that a lack of fluoride in drinking water resulted in widespread tooth decay and gum disease. 

Modern Fluoride Treatment

Today, fluoride is an active ingredient in virtually every toothpaste on the market and can be found in many over-the-counter mouthwashes. According to the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research, 200 million people receive fluoridated water, and over 13 million children take part in a school-based fluoride mouth-wash program. As a result, tooth decay has declined and is considered to be a preventable condition for most people.

  • Dentists use concentrated fluoride treatments  when treating a variety of dental conditions, such as gum disease
  • Cracked teeth
  • Untreated cavities
  • Exposed roots
  • Dry mouth
Fluoride treatment is typically included during regular dental cleanings, particularly for patients with poor oral hygiene and diet, immune-suppressing illnesses, extensive prior dental work, or those who haven’t had a thorough dental cleaning in a while.

If you have any questions, or you would like to know more about concentrated and intensive fluoride therapy, please contact North Scottsdale pediatric dentist, Dr. Noel W. Korf. Fluoride education and treatment are incorporated into his preventive education and care procedures for the area’s youth. Instilling good dental habits and understanding of oral health is a large part of his practice. Visit www.drkorf.com for more information about pediatric dental services in North Scottsdale.

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