Fluoride has been used in the United States since the 1940’s as an anti-cavity agent. Since the introduction of fluoride into our drinking water, there has been substantial decrease in cavities, both among children and adults. There has not only been a reduction in cavities, but also a reduction in recurrent cavities. Through multiple clinical trials it has been determined that there was an average reduction of cavities by nearly 25%.

Usually after meals, the bacteria in your mouth produces acid, which leads to demineralization of teeth, weakening the tooth surface causing cavities. Brushing twice a day provides a regular supply of fluoride which results in low levels of fluoride in the mouth throughout the day, protecting teeth from cavities. Fluoride toothpaste and rinses help promote the re-mineralization of teeth, thereby making enamel harder, and less prone to decay.

The American Dental Association recommends that fluoride varnish or gel be applied 2 to 4 times a year by your friendly neighborhood dentist, depending on your cavities risk level. Senior Citizens are more prone to tooth decay due to a variety of reasons.

1. Decreased salivary flow, saliva helps wash away food particles keeping teeth surface clean.
2. Exposed root surface, due to receding gum line.
3. Enamel defects and cracked or worn down teeth.
4. Old fillings with leaky margins where food and bacteria linger.
5. Having difficult brushing due to arthritis in their hands.

Too much fluoride is also not good and can lead to fluorosis. fluorosis can result in pitted malformed teeth, brittle teeth, and white spots on the teeth. So before changing your present oral care regiment, please check with your dentist.

DR. D.G. PATEL WHITING, NJ 732-350-9494

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