More About Fluoride From a Family Dentist in Livermore CA

Family Dentist in Livermore CA

As a family dentist in Livermore CA, we recommend using fluoride as a way to strengthen your teeth and prevent tooth decay.  Cavities are so common that the Center for Disease Control reports that tooth decay is the largest infectious disease impacting children.  They lead to missed school days and overall discomfort.  In our office, we want to prevent this scenario and can do so by cleaning teeth and applying fluoride in order to make them stronger. 

What is fluoride?

Fluorine is a naturally occurring substance that is found in the dirt, the air, and even food.  Unfortunately, people don’t get enough of it through daily activities or diet. For this reason, there has been a large public-health push to include fluoride in public water.  Now, over 10,000 communities across the U.S. have fluoridated water, and it has been proven to reduce the risk of cavities by 30 percent.

How does fluoride help?

Over time, the enamel on your teeth will start to wear away as demineralization and erosion occurs.  This makes the tooth more susceptible to decay and can lead to sensitivity.  Fluoride can remineralize teeth so that they become strong again. It works the best as a preventative measure before too much of the enamel has worn away.  When applied directly to the teeth, it begins to work immediately.  As a result, when tooth decay starts, the fluoride can stop it from progressing any further and even reverse some of the damage.  As a family dentist in Livermore CA, we have found that children with regular fluoride treatments have healthier teeth overall.

When you consider how prevalent the occurrence of tooth decay is, it becomes clear how useful a 30 percent reduction can be.  It is rare for anyone to go a lifetime without a cavity, and the simple step of using fluoride can at least reduce how many cavities you get.  We suggest that children receive a fluoride treatment through their teenage years due to the proven benefits of doing so. The process of applying fluoride is fairly simple.  We apply a varnish to the teeth and leave it for around four minutes.  This is long enough for the fluoride to be absorbed by the enamel.  Since the varnish doesn’t have a strong smell or taste, most children don’t mind the treatment at all.  Even young ones can receive fluoride without an issue.

When you bring your children to our dentist office, let us know if you are on public water so that we can incorporate that information into their treatment plan.  Those drinking public water have a decreased need for further fluoride treatments while those without public water may need them more frequently.  In very rare cases, we may also suggest a more in-depth treatment at home.  Custom trays can be created so that a fluoride gel can be applied to teeth that are particularly sensitive to getting cavities.  In most cases, however, the varnish will suffice. As a family dentist in Livermore CA, we recommend that you call to schedule an appointment for your child today.

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