Fluoride is essential to fight cavities and is added to the water supply in most cities in the United States. Doing this has dramatically reduced the instances of cavities in the American population and revolutionized the way in which people have access to this vital mineral.
Who Needs Fluoride Treatment?
One of the most influential health organizations in the country, recommends that infants start getting fluoride treatments as soon as their teeth begin to erupt. Fluoride is so essential to a person's oral health that many in the dental community believe the sooner a baby starts some form of fluoride treatment the better their chances for healthy teeth.
Regular fluoride treatments are recommended for children at least once per year. Even if you live in an area where the water supply is fluoridated, children don't always drink the amount necessary to have the desired effect in preventing tooth decay.
Adolescents and adults who live in areas where the water is not fluoridated should let us know, and we will determine how often he or she needs a fluoride treatment. In this case, we may recommend fluoride supplements that can be taken orally.
When You Should Not Have a Fluoride Treatment
There are many conspiracy theories about fluoride, and some proponents claim the substance can cause cancer. The American Dental Association (ADA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have deemed fluoride safe to use in patients of all ages. We do recommend avoiding toothpaste that contains fluoride in children younger than three-years-old because they tend to swallow the sweet paste when brushing. To compensate, we will provide fluoride treatments at our office.
In general, it's okay to get a fluoride treatment any time you are due for an application, but if you have sores in your mouth, we may want to wait until those are gone.