Preventive Care: Oral Health Products
According to the CDA, “Cavities are preventable and caused by certain types of bacteria (germs) that live in the mouth. Bacteria stick to the film on the teeth called plaque. The bacteria feed on what the patient eats, especially sugars (including fruit sugars) and cooked starch (bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, etc.) About 5 minutes after the patient eats, or drinks, the bacteria begin making acid as they digest the food. This acid can break down the tooth’s outer surface and dissolve valuable minerals that protect the teeth. The result is cavities.”
Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that has been shown to help strengthen teeth in children and also prevent decay in people of all ages. Topical fluoride in particular is helpful for promoting oral health. The American Dental Association have publicly endorsed the use of fluoride for the prevention of dental caries, as has the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association.
Did you know…
that you might be drinking fluoride everyday without knowing it? Many communities add fluoride to the public water supply in an effort to promote better dental health. You can find out if there is fluoride in your tap water by contacting your local water utility. Keep in mind that if your primary source of drinking water is bottled, you may not be getting fluoride. You can contact your bottle water company or manufacturer to find out if fluoride is in your water. If not, speak with your dentist about getting professional fluoride treatments.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which oral health products are available and advisable?
There are a variety of products available to help support oral health. Mouth-rinses, gels and toothpastes with fluoride can be used to help prevent decay. Some mouthwashes and toothpastes contain ingredients with antibacterial properties and can help prevent or control gingivitis (gum inflammation). Others contain ingredients to reduce the formation of tartar, the hardened plaque that forms on teeth over time.
How do I prevent decay?
- Brush the teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
- Clean between teeth daily with floss
- Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacking
- Visit Dr. Grupe regularly for professional cleanings and exams
- Ask Dr. Grupe about dental sealants and fluoride treatments including varnish
Do I need fluoride treatments?
You may need fluoride treatments if you are experiencing certain symptoms. Fluoride treatments can provide oral support and prevent decay if you wear orthodontic braces or are taking medications that cause dry mouth.
What should I expect during fluoride treatments?
Fluoride treatments are painless and can be administered at the Newport-Irvine Dental office at your twice-yearly check-ups and cleanings or more frequently if required. Dr. Grupe or his dental hygienist will distribute fluoridated gel, foam or varnish into a tray and place it over your teeth. The treatment takes only a few minutes and may only be required between one and four times per year.
Is there anything I can do to supplement my fluoride treatments?
Yes. The ADA recommends supplementing your fluoridated drinking water or fluoride treatments with a fluoridated toothpaste.