The toothy truth about cavity-fighting fluoride treatment in Napier
In a 20-year study of almost 5,000 adults and children, the Ministry of Health determined that those who resided in fluoridated areas had significantly less lifetime tooth decay than those who lived in non-fluoridated areas. In fact, they reported that children in areas with access to fluoridated water were, on average, 40% less likely to develop decayed teeth. So, what is fluoride? And why is it such a powerful ally in the fight against cavities and other forms of tooth decay? Here, Dr Sundar explains why fluoride is a powerful preventive treatment at our office in Napier.
Fluoride: The basics
A naturally occurring mineral, fluoride is already present in trace amounts in the water that we drink, and in a wide variety of other sources (from some fruits to grains). Teas, coffees, and other consumables made with fluoridated water are other common ways to boost your intake. Communities and products “fortify” the fluoride. Bolstering these levels presents a greater benefit to our oral health and overall wellness. Additionally, fluoride in the water supply and other consumer goods is closely monitored to assure it remains within a safe level.
Fluoride helps to strengthen the “armour” that covers your teeth: the protective enamel. It keeps teeth strong and minimises the risk of enamel erosion and progressive weakness that leads to tooth decay. A type of decay, cavities are holes on the surfaces of the teeth. To preserve the tooth, it must be treated with a filling. Without treatment, decay progresses, and the tooth may be lost. Fluoride may also play a role in decreasing the risk of bone fractures. All in all, it is considered to be a vital element in keeping bones strong.
At Dentiq we recommend that you brush with a fluoride toothpaste at least two times each day. A younger child may only require a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. It’s also important to monitor very young children to assure they don’t ingest large amounts of fluoride. Overdoses are rare but are a possibility with all sorts of medical products.
To bolster our bodies’ stores of fluoride, there are additional products that may be recommended. For instance, we may suggest that you supplement fluoride with dietary tablets. There are professional treatments that can be applied as solutions, gels, foams, or varnishes. We even use something called Silver Diamine Fluoride. SDF is formulated with fluoride to aid in remineralising the teeth. Other ingredients that kill bacteria and support the concentration of the solution for maximum effectiveness as a cavity-fighter. The solution is applied painlessly, safely, and quickly in liquid form directly on the teeth’ surfaces.
For more “toothy truths,” contact our office in Greenmeadows. Ring us at 06 880 6161.