Many years ago the American Dental Association used to think fluoride was most beneficial to developing teeth, and once you had all of your permanent teeth you really didn't receive much benefit from it. Well, fast forward to the age of sports drinks, soda pop, and bottled water, and now we see a different story.
The American Dental Association recognized the decay rate rising again and after some research found out that many people are not drinking plain tap water any more; they are using some type of filtration system for their water or buying bottled water. This takes all of the fluoride out of the water. Before, when we used water straight out of the faucet we were getting a fluoride dose constantly, but not any more. Plus, with the easy access of flavored waters, sports drinks, vitamin water, and soda pop, we are continuously bathing our teeth with carbonic acid and destroying them.
So, the ADA changed their recommendation and now they recommend a fluoride treatment for EVERYONE. Their studies show that fluoride helps to remineralize the tooth surface by 76% and also helps to desensitize the teeth by 76%.
The fluoride gets around the edges of fillings and crowns where the tooth and the restoration meet and helps to remineralize that area. It is also very beneficial for anyone who has recession. When you have recession the root part of your tooth is now exposed. The covering on the root is not the same as the top part of your tooth. The root is covered with cementum and not enamel. Cementum is much softer than enamel, which makes you more susceptible to having root surface decay. Fluoride helps to strengthen the root surface area.
We offer fluoride to each and every one one of our patients because of all its benefits. It is our standard of care that we strive to achieve. Yes, we understand that most insurance companies don't cover the cost of fluoride, but it really is to your benefit to have fluoride placed every 6 months to help protect your teeth. Insurance companies do not cover the entire cost of a filling or crown either, so why not protect your own investment, your smile!
- from Julie C. (Dental Hygienist)