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. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named community water fluoridation one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral compound found in water and soil. It is also present in foods and beverages at varying concentrations. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the entire tooth surface more resistant to acid attacks from the bacteria that live in the plaque on your teeth. Fluoride also promotes re-mineralization (adding minerals such as calcium back in to your teeth), which aids in repairing early decay before a cavity (hole) forms in the tooth.
At Spring Creek Dental, our professionals administer fluoride varnishes to both children and adults at periodic intervals. Patients should avoid eating or drinking hot food or beverages for 30 minutes following the application of the fluoride varnish. For our patients with a high risk of cavities, we may prescribe a fluoride gel or prescription strength toothpaste for daily home use. Systemic fluoride is taken into the body through consuming fluoridated water, fluoride supplements or foods and beverages. Once systemic fluoride is absorbed via the gastrointestinal tract, the blood distributes it throughout the entire body. Fluoride is then deposited into un-erupted, developing teeth. Systemic fluoride is also found in saliva and it continually bathes the teeth, providing a topical application to protect teeth.