Fluoride Treatment Simi Valley, CA
Fluoride and the teeth of our younger patients from around the Simi Valley should go together like Malibu and movie stars. This naturally occurring mineral has a long history and thousands of pages of research showing its benefits for protecting teeth from decay.
Alas, the internet and its ability to spread false information have made some people question the value of fluoride. Let’s just say its value is indisputable in preventing decay and making for healthier teeth.
Tooth Decay is not OK!
The proponents of removing fluoride from municipal water sources evidently like dentures. In the 1930s, Americans had an extremely high rate of dental caries (the clinical term for cavities). In those years, by the age of 55 half of all Americans needed dentures, meaning they had lost all or most of their teeth thanks to decay. At 6 years of age in the 30s, 80 percent of children had an average of 14 cavities.
There was a growing flood of research that showed adding fluoride to water helped prevent decay. Grand Rapids, Michigan was selected as a test city for adding fluoride to the municipal water supply. The results covered 15 years, from 1945 to 1960. They showed a 65 percent decline in tooth decay. End of story. After Grand Rapids, just about all cities around the world adopted water fluoridation and dental health improved.
What is fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that you can find just about everywhere. It can be found in natural water sources (and you thought it was only added to municipal water supplies), along with a wide assortment of foods. Wonder just what foods and beverages have fluoride in them naturally? How about pickles, white wine, spinach, oysters, carrots, green and black teas, various fruit juices, Russet potatoes, asparagus, and even chicken, just to name a few.
How fluoride protects the teeth
Think of your mouth as if it’s a mine. Every day, minerals are coming and going. Minerals are added to and lost from a tooth’s enamel layer through two processes, demineralization and remineralization. Demineralization is the problem. Minerals are lost from a tooth’s enamel layer when acids, formed from the bacteria in plaque and sugars in the mouth, attack the enamel. Fortunately, when you eat foods and drink water, minerals such as fluoride, calcium, and phosphate remineralize the teeth. Therein lies the ongoing battle — too much demineralization without remineralization results in tooth decay.
As mentioned above, fluoride occurs naturally in many foods and water. It helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth enamel more resistant to those acids from bacteria and sugars in the mouth. Fluoride also has the cool effect of reversing early cases of decay. For kids under 6, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth. This makes the teeth resistant to the assault of acids to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also speeds remineralization and disrupts acid production in the mouth.
Who is a Candidate for Fluoride Treatment with Dr. Bankhardt?
Conspiracy theorists aside, fluoride is one of your teeth’s best friends. At Dr. Bankhardt’s we give our younger patients concentrated fluoride treatments, usually with fluoride gel in trays. But we can also provide fluoride for adults who have less-than-awesome enamel. Plus, seniors’ teeth need fluoride, especially to stem decay around long-placed cavities and such.
When fluoride is the most beneficial
It was thought that only children benefit from fluoride, but new research shows that topical fluoride from toothpaste, mouth rinses, and fluoride treatments are important to help adult teeth fight decay. For children, it’s long been known that children between 6 months and 16 years need fluoride to help build their teeth.
What Our Patients Have to Say
“Personable and friendly staff. Very thorough but gentle cleanings. Dr. Bob is extremely knowledgeable and really cares about your teeth. Several reminders for appointments. Highly recommend!” -Bill M.
Are fluoride treatments safe?
This is where the conspiracy theorists have done society a disservice. Fluoridation has continued to be one of the most tested, cost-effective, and proven safe public health measures ever undertaken. Conspiracy theorists claim fluoride is poison. Fluoride actually is present in all groundwater around the U.S. to some extent. To put poisoning in context, a lethal dose of fluoride is 5-10 grams. That is the equivalent of drinking 10,000 8-ounce glasses of water — all at once.
All credible health organizations around the world support fluoridation as a public health benefit.
At Dr. Bankhardt’s, our fluoride treatments are applied typically in gel in trays or painted directly on the teeth. It is left on for four minutes, and then the patient rinses. These are completely safe, and utterly beneficial, treatments.
Are there side effects with fluoride treatments?
There are no side effects. As mentioned above, the amount of fluoride, both in water supplies and in our direct treatments, is miniscule and has no effect other than to help with remineralization of the teeth.
You could say the only side effects come from NOT having fluoride. Due to misinformation and outright omission of scientific research findings, some cities have voted to remove fluoride from water supplies. Individual families have bought into the misinformation and have opted to only use bottled water. They only allow their children to use toothpaste without fluoride. This has allowed rates of tooth decay to rise in certain areas.
Schedule a Consultation Today!
To learn more about our Fluoride Treatments or other Preventative Dentistry options, please call us at (805) 584-1194 to schedule a consultation. Robert D. Bankhardt, DDS, Inc. is proud to serve Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, and the surrounding areas of California.