Because some insurance plans don’t cover the cost of fluoride treatments for patients older than 13 or 14 years, parents have to decide if they want to pay for the treatment out-of-pocket. Therefore, some parents come to me asking these questions: Is it necessary to apply it? Is it good? Is it worth it? What is it?
Fluoride is an element of the halogen group that has a great capacity of chemical reaction. Therefore, in the presence of calcium and phosphate on the oral cavity, Fluorapatite is formed on the surface of teeth, which strengthens mineralization and hardens the tooth enamel.Fluorine is the gel which is applied after cleanings. I joke with my patients by telling them that we are going to apply "the vitamin" because it is part of a therapy to help prevent cavities. Since the Fluoride has the following two basic mechanisms of protective action against caries:
Fluoride is present not only in toothpaste, mouthwashes or varnishes but also in drinking water of many cities of the United States.
A 1945 study, was the first implementation of fluoridation of drinking water systems in the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, findings that this practice, could reduce by more than 50% the incidence of tooth decay in children. Since then the practice has spread and has proven that water fluoridation in cities is efficient and cost effective, because it contributes to the reduction of dental caries and this has been one of the greatest achievements in the public health system.I advise you to always buy toothpaste with fluoride. There are toothpaste with different concentrations of fluorine, those with a high fluorine content are prescribed by pediatric dentist and are usually used to improve remineralization therapy of the so-called white spots on teeth. In other cases, it is recommended when the decay is still superficial so it is suggested, as a conservative therapy. The application of toothpaste with a high content of calcium and phosphate to stop the advance of caries (known as arrested caries) may be indicated, all these examples depend on the needs of each patient.It is advisable to choose a mouthwash that contains fluoride, there are certain brands on the market with this option. Therefore, is important to have in mind that this gel which is called fluorine (or vitamin) should be applied at each appointment for dental cleaning which, is done every 3 months in children under 3 years old and every 6 months for children over 3 years old, and depending on each case. However, it is recommended that parents closely monitor the brushing of their children under 6 years old, since they tend to swallow toothpaste, producing gastric symptoms of TOXICITY. Fluoride therapy is very important and really worth it, but like everything, should be applied according to the needs of each patient, to the extent that your Dentist deems necessary.
Maria Calcina, DDS
Why choose a Pediatric Dentist?: We focus on the overall oral health care of infants, children, adolescent, and special needs patients, in developing our patient’s oral health by establishing an early connection with our them, their parents, and caregivers. This relationship is possible thanks to setting the concept of the Dental Home in the patients' mind, and this provides us the opportunity to implement preventive dental health habits that keep the child free from dental/oral diseases.
You use it every day, but when was the last time you put real thought into your toothbrush?