Since 1945 Fluoride supplementation has been proven to reduce the risk of cavities.
How Fluoride Works
Fluoride treatment does three very important things:
- Strengthens your enamel, or the outer protective layer of the tooth. It will actually replenish the mineral content within the tooth, making it harder for the cavity causing bacteria to penetrate into the tooth.
- Fluoride gets absorbed into the bacteria itself and disrupts the metabolism of the bacteria and essentially starves the bacteria to death.
- Fluoride that is ingested (usually through drinking water, will be deposited into the adult teeth forming underneath the baby teeth.
Applying Fluoride Treatment to Cavities
Incipient cavities or pre-cavity spots, which typically appear as brown stains or white spots on the tooth can be strengthened by applying fluoride to those areas. It has been shown that fluoride treatment can prevent these areas from developing into full blown cavities with regular brushing
And this is why it is recommended at every visit to provide your children with the best chance for resisting decay.
Some Fluoride Myths
There are some in the community that are concerned about fluoride, they have heard multiple false facts about fluoride from various sources on the internet. In the proper amounts, fluoride is strongly recommended by the American Dental Association for the betterment of your child’s oral health. If however you do decide that you would like to forego fluoride at the dental office, I would recommend that you brush at least 3 times a day, always floss in the evening, and avoid frequent or long periods of snacking to give your child a better chance at not getting a cavity.
Cavities and Fluoride Treatments
Once a full cavity is present fluoride in the basic form, it cannot reverse or cure the decayed area. Most often this is treated with a filling or crown.
Silver Diamine Fluoride for Cavities
If your child is too young or too anxious to sit for treatment, a special kind of fluoride medication is recommended, Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF). This special type of fluoride can stop decay from getting worse and works to reinforce the area from decay in the future thanks to the silver ion. This prevents bacteria from eating further through the tooth. SDF is gaining popularity as a delay tactic for young or anxious children. The one downside to Silver Diamine Fluoride is that it will stain the areas of decay black.
Fluoride application is an effective and important treatment during your exam and cleaning to prevent your child from getting cavities. Please contact us at Junior Smiles Children’s Dentistry® for an exam today. We can be reached at 303-455-3313.