Fluoride

in Wayland, Michigan

Fluoride used in a small amount on a regular basis helps prevent tooth decay. It reduces the loss of minerals from tooth enamel and strengthens areas that are weak or may be at risk for cavities. Many communities add fluoride to the water supply. Various amounts of fluoride are in some foods, formulas, bottled water, filtered water and well water. Talk to Dr. Sexton and let him help you determine if your child is receiving enough fluoride routinely.

Children should use toothpaste with fluoride and the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. Use a smear on a toothbrush if your child is under two. Use a pea-size amount for children 2-5 years old.

During your children’s routine dental visits, Dr. Sexton may use topical fluoride as a preventive agent. This is typically painted as a varnish on your child’s teeth.

Q: My child has been going to the dentist regularly and never had this many /or any cavities before, I don't understand how that can be?

A: With our digital x-rays and our cavity-detecting laser, we are able to detect decay at very early stages and keep the restorations conservative. The amount of sugar and acid in the diet can affect decay rates. Daily brushing and flossing, as well as getting the right amount of fluoride will help lower decay rates.

Q: I heard fluoride is poisonous/toxic, is it safe to do a fluoride treatment?

A: Fluoride is only toxic if you ingest it in large quantities. In smaller quantities it is extremely beneficial to your teeth. During the fluoride treatment you will swallow almost no fluoride. There will be suction in your mouth removing the excess fluoride the whole time.

Q: Why do I need fluoride?

A: Fluoride has many benefits. In children, it helps to strengthen the permanent teeth that are forming. It is vital for strong decay-resistant teeth. It is one of the most effective elements in preventing tooth decay. It combines with the enamel to strengthen it against decay. It may also reverse microscopic cavities by enhancing the process in which minerals are incorporated into the teeth. The most effective way to get fluoride is by drinking water containing the right amount of the mineral (about 1ppm parts water). The benefits for adults are that it helps with sensitivity. It is good for exposed root surfaces, which are more susceptible to decay. It also helps prevent recurrent cavities around fillings and crowns. In our office, we recommend an in-office application, which has a high concentrate of fluoride, and then we send a prescription strength toothpaste home with patients for use at bedtime.

Fluoride: Let’s Celebrate its Benefits

Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that provides benefits to tooth enamel. When consumed in food, beverages or as a supplement, fluoride bonds with growing tooth structure to make the enamel stronger. The enamel is the hard outer portion of…

Americans spend close to $1 billion each year in chewing gum. Dr. Sexton recommends chewing sugar free gum to keep teeth healthy and prevent cavities.

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