May 25, 2024
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May 25, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water. The main function of fluoride is to provide strength to the teeth, which it does by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. It is especially important for children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years to be exposed to fluoride, since this is the time frame the primary and permanent teeth come in. Taken as a supplement, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of the permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize it. In simple terms, this means teeth that are strengthened by fluoride get less cavities.

Adults can benefit from fluoride as well. Research indicates that topical fluoride is also important in fighting tooth decay. Most toothpastes have fluoride in them, but for some people simply brushing will not be enough to prevent cavities. People with a history of cavities, who have crowns and bridges in their mouth, have gum disease or a dry mouth condition can all benefit from additional fluoride. This can be accomplished with prescription toothpaste that has a higher concentration of fluoride, or in-office through dentist-applied fluoride gels, foams or varnishes. These procedures are easy, take only a minute, and are usually done at the end of a cleaning appointment.

Drinking water is another way fluoride can be delivered to help strengthen teeth, but like the supplements it only benefits children. In communities with fluoridated water, rates of dental disease in children are dramatically lower. Nearly 72% of Americans get their water from public systems that add fluoride, but in New Jersey that number is only 14%. New Jersey ranks next to last in states that fluoridate water, ahead of only Hawaii. Because of these dismal statistics, it is vital that children living in NJ take fluoride supplements to ensure the health of their developing teeth. Dentist applied topical fluoride helps strengthen the teeth that have already erupted for both children and adults. With cavities affecting half of all first graders and close to 80% of 17 year olds, fluoride treatments are an easy way to keep teeth healthy for a lifetime. In our opinion the benefits of fluoride are clear for everyone, regardless of age. Ask your physician or dentist what is right for you.

Dr. Herbert Schneider has been recognized for his work with fellowship awards from the Academy of General Dentistry and the American Endodontic Society. He also holds a prestigious Mastership from the World Clinical Laser Institute. Dr. Rachel Jacobs joined the practice in 2006. Her calm, yet precise manner makes her a hit with both adults and children. Both Dr’s are certified in the uses of 3 different clinical lasers.

By Dr. Herb Schneider and Dr. Rachel Jacobs

 

 

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