Posts for tag: fluoride
Silver diamine fluoride “SDF” is a potent fluoride substance used to prevent cavities, halt the growth of existing cavities, and prevent cavities from spreading to other teeth. It is made of silver, which helps to kill bacteria, fluoride, which helps to mineralize your teeth, and ammonia, which allows the solution stay concentrated.
How Is It Used?
Silver diamine fluoride is most commonly used on already existing cavities, to slow the progression. Still, it can also be used as a preventative technique to prevent cavities in high-risk cases. First, the areas are isolated and dried of moisture, as saliva can contaminate the areas and reduce the effectiveness of the SDF. Then the solution will be applied to the spot with either a brush or floss. SDF is proven to be more effective than fluoride varnish and doesn’t have to be applied as frequently to be effective.
Benefits of Silver Diamine Fluoride
- Helps slow/stop the development of cavities
- Kills bacteria associated with cavities
- Stops the spread of cavities to surrounding teeth
- Can buy time before a cavity needs to be fixed
- In some cases, it can eliminate the need to fix cavities on baby teeth before they fall out
- Only needs to be applied once per year
Side Effects of Silver Diamine Fluoride
Silver diamine fluoride is considered to be safe and effective for all ages. Although there are some contraindications for use:
- When a person has a silver allergy
- When a person has any oral ulcerations, canker sores or advanced gum disease
- When there is significant tooth decay that exposes the inside of the tooth
The most commonly noted side effect is that silver diamine fluoride stains the surfaces it is applied to. This means the tooth surfaces, as well as the tissue it touches, with a grey/black staining. Typically this is unnoticeable when applied to back teeth.
If you are interested in discussing the benefits of silver diamine fluoride or believe you are a candidate for it, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.
In the early 1900s, a Colorado dentist noticed many of his patients had unusual brown staining on their teeth — and little to no tooth decay. What he unknowingly observed was the power of a chemical substance in his patients' drinking water — fluoride. While commonplace today, fluoride sparked a revolution — and some controversy — in dental care during the 20th Century.
After decades of research and testing, most dentists now agree that fluoride reduces decay by interfering with the disease process. The optimum pH level for the mouth is neutral; however, this environment constantly changes as we eat, especially if we ingest foods or beverages high in acidity. A high acid level softens tooth enamel (a process called de-mineralization) and can lead to erosion if not neutralized. In addition, a thin layer of bacteria-rich plaque called biofilm that adheres to tooth surfaces is also acidic and is the cause of tooth decay, possibly more so in teeth made more susceptible from enamel erosion.
When fluoride is in “the right place” (present on the tooth surface and in our saliva, the body's natural acid neutralizer), it helps inhibit de-mineralization and aids in the re-hardening of the enamel (re-mineralization).
Although fluoride needs to come into direct contact with tooth enamel for optimum effectiveness, ingesting it can also prove beneficial. The fluoride we ingest eventually becomes deposited in bone. As bone grows and changes it releases this reserved fluoride back into the bloodstream where it eventually becomes part of saliva; the saliva brings it into contact with tooth surfaces.
The two most prominent ways we encounter fluoride are through fluoridated drinking water and in toothpaste. There continues to be concerns about what constitutes safe levels of fluoride in drinking water and over possible side effects like teeth staining and changes in bone structure. However, extensive studies have conclusively shown that even minimal levels of water fluoridation and the use of fluoride toothpaste have reduced tooth decay.
As the Colorado dentist discovered over a hundred years ago, fluoride is truly remarkable as a cavity fighter. Whether you have access to fluoridated water or not, we encourage you to use fluoride toothpaste to strengthen your teeth against decay.
If you would like more information on fluoride, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Fluoride & Fluoridation in Dentistry.”
As one of America's most beloved go-to guys for inspiration on the latest interior design trends, Nate Berkus has written a highly successful book, Home Rules: Transform the Place You Live Into a Place You'll Love; he is a contributing editor to O Magazine; and he is currently hosting his own television program, The Nate Berkus Show. He is also recognized for his eye-catching smile.
During a recent interview with Dear Doctor magazine, Berkus opened up about the facts behind his trademark smile. While his smile is all-natural — he never wore braces or had any cosmetic work done — he gives credit to his childhood dentist for the preventative healthcare he received as a young boy. “I'm grateful for having been given fluoride treatments and sealants as a child,” he said. Nate also shared the important flossing advice he learned from his dentist that he still follows today: “Floss the ones you want to keep.”
Why is flossing so important?
Flossing is crucial because it remains the most effective method for removing plaque from between teeth, where the toothbrush can't reach. It is also an important part of keeping your gums healthy so that you can avoid periodontitis (gum disease). You should floss at least once a day either before or after you brush your teeth. If you see blood after flossing, it may indicate that you have periodontitis, or it may mean that you are flossing too harshly. Remember, you need to use a delicate hand and a proper technique when brushing and flossing to avoid damaging your teeth and gums.
To learn more about flossing, including step-by-step instructions with photos, you can continue reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Flossing — A Different Approach.” Or you can contact us today to schedule an appointment so that we can conduct a thorough examination, review your brushing and flossing techniques, and discuss any questions you have as well as treatment options. As needed, we will work with you to teach you the proper brushing and flossing techniques so that you feel confident before you leave our office. And to read the entire interview with Nate Berkus, please see the Dear Doctor magazine article “Nate Berkus.”