Why Six Month Cleanings are so Important
These visits not only save you thousands of dollars but can help prevent three major health issues and potentially save your life.
What do you think of when you hear the word “fluoride”? In today’s climate, fluoride has become a hotly debated topic with some parents swearing by it and others rejecting it completely. Fluoride has become an iteration of the vaccine — safe, effective, but tinged with needless controversy.
When used correctly, fluoride is one of the best ways to prevent cavities in children. With tooth decay being the most common disease in children, fluoride is a true golden ticket when it comes to kids’ health.
Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that has the ability to strengthen enamel. You can find fluoride in an array of different foods including potatoes, rice, carrots, and spinach.
In many places, local governments put low levels of fluoride in the water supply. This has helped dramatically decrease the number of cavities in the United States but there’s still room for further prevention. That’s where professionally-applied fluoride treatments come in.
Fluoride does for your teeth what Vitamin C does for your immune system. It won’t treat a late-stage cavity, just as Vitamin C won’t treat a cold, but it will prevent you from getting one in the first place. Fluoride fortifies the enamel, “remineralizing” while things like acids and plaque “demineralize”. If the balance between remineralization and demineralization leans more to the latter, the result is tooth decay.
Brushing and flossing are the best ways to prevent cavities, but an added dose of fluoride can help keep the more resilient cavities at bay.
In the old days, fluoride treatments required a duck-like mask, a lot of patience, and some gross foamy stuff. Nowadays, in-office fluoride treatments are a lot easier. A dentist can easily and quickly apply a thin fluoride gel to the teeth. Although patients have to wait a few hours before eating and drinking, they can leave the office right away.
When your child is around four or five, we will begin doing fluoride treatments after their cleanings. It’s important to fortify children’s teeth early since they’re at their most porous when they first erupt. How much fluoride they get in their first decade of life will determine the state of their enamel many years down the road.
In extreme cases, children can receive too much fluoride. If this happens, their teeth may develop permanent white striations. A lot of parents have stopped wanting to give their children fluoride because they’re scared of this perceived “overdose.” In truth, a child having too much fluoride is extremely rare. For most children, it is more dangerous for children to not receive fluoride treatments. They are much more likely to have tooth decay than a fluoride overdose.
No, fluoride treatments are not just for kids. Adults can benefit from fluoride treatments too. Fluoride helps to strengthen and protect tooth enamel, which is especially important for adults who may be more prone to cavities due to weakened enamel from years of wear and tear. Also, fluoride treatments can help strengthen the enamel around crowns or restorations. While children often benefit from stronger fluoride concentrations in toothpastes and mouth rinses, adults may opt for professional fluoride treatments to get the extra strength protection they need. Professional fluoride treatments are highly concentrated and cover all surfaces of the teeth, providing additional protection against cavities and other dental issues. Regular fluoride treatments can also help to reduce tooth sensitivity. Talk to your dentist about whether fluoride treatments are right for you.
We don’t want to toot our own horn, but we are proud of our reputation. We feel that it is a reflection of the hard work and dedication we have committed to our profession, as well as a representation of the passion we have for providing exceptional care to our patients. At Stanley Dentistry, our goal is to earn our patient’s trust and loyalty.
We’re honored to have been awarded 21 best dentist awards by the Triangle community. From the Western Wake County Maggy Awards to the News and Observers Raleigh’s Best, our patients have been vocal in their support!