Fluoride has been surrounded by controversy and misinformation for decades. At Pollard Family Dentistry, we love educating our patients about the importance of using fluoride. The truth is that we want to protect and help preserve the smiles of your children. Fluoride is an easy and excellent tool that you can use to create a foundation for excellent oral health.
What is Fluoride?
So, what is fluoride? Fluoride is a naturally occurring element, derived from fluorine. Small amounts of fluorine can be found in water, air, plants, and animals. We need fluorine to help maintain bone mass, and protect us from dental decay and osteoporosis.
Studies show that cavities are reduced by fifteen to thirty percent in kids who use fluoride toothpaste. We suggest that you institute an age-appropriate, recommended form of fluoride as part of your daily regimen for your children as soon as the age of 6 months.
Oral bacteria produces enamel eating acid that damages the hard and soft tissues of the mouth. If left untreated, these pathogens can lead to dental decay, periodontal disease, and cavities. It is important to educate your children on the dangers of bacteria in the mouth because the reality is that they will be fighting bacteria for the rest of their lives. In fact, two-thirds of teenagers from the age of sixteen to nineteen struggle with tooth decay. Fluoride is important because it:
Reverses dental decay in its preliminary forms
Strengthens teeth through a process called remineralization
Helps protect the smiles of at risk children in underserved populations
Nearly sixty percent of the American population has fluoridated, public water. Research on fluoridated water shows that it reduces cavities up to forty percent. Did you know that this has been successfully happening for over sixty years? Bottled or well water usually does not have fluoride. If you do have well water or water from a private source, it is a good idea to have a sample of it checked by the health department for fluoride levels. Please share the results of this test with us. We can use this information to advise you on how much fluoride you should be giving to your children, and what products to use for the best results.
Is Fluoride Safe?
It is hard to believe that fluoride is so controversial, because the American Dental Association, the CDC and the Academy of General Dentistry (just to name a few) all support the usage of it. However, you should know that it is possible to have too much fluoride. Dr. Pollard will suggest a dosage for you that will take into account age and how much you naturally come into contact with. Overexposure to fluoride is called fluorosis and is usually very mild, and also easily avoidable if you keep in communication with us.
Call Us Today
When we are young, it is easy to underestimate the value of our teeth. Dental health is one of the most reliable predictors of longevity. Set your child up for success and call us today at (503) 223-7682 to schedule an appointment.