Yes, everyone can benefit from fluoride; it plays an important role in healthy tooth development and cavity prevention. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making teeth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque, bacteria and sugars in the mouth. Fluoride combats tooth decay in two ways: 1) it is incorporated into the structure of developing teeth when ingested and; 2) it protects the teeth when it comes in contact with the surface of the teeth.
It is important for children age 6 months to 16 years to be exposed to fluoride, as this is when primary and permanent teeth come in. If your child (6 months or older) does not drink fluoridated water; drops, tablets or vitamins may be prescribed.
Adults benefit from fluoride, too. Topical fluoride – the kind found in toothpastes, mouth rinses and fluoride treatments – help fight decay in people of all ages. If your drinking water is fluoridated (recommended levels are 0.7-1.2 ppm), then brushing regularly with fluoride toothpaste is sufficient for most adults with healthy teeth. If you drink mostly bottled or treated water, are susceptible to dry mouth, have receding gums or wear braces, ask us if you would benefit from fluoride therapy.