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Welcome Patients

Elena Katz, D.M.D., MsCD  Nova SE University School of Dentistry. Prosthodontics  F.A.C.D.  Residency at Beth Israel Hospital, Newark, NJ, Fellow-World Clinical Laser Institute. Over 30 years expirience. America's Top Dentists 2008-2016.

Diplomate the International Congress of Oral Implantologists.

At the dental practice of Dr. Elena Katz, we believe communication is the key to successful treatment. Starting with your initial visit, Dr. Katz will take the time to talk with you about your previous dental experiences and about your expectations for your future dental care. Throughout your treatments, Doctor and her staff will work with you to ensure that you understand your options and that you are ultimately satisfied with the way that your mouth looks and feels.

Fluoride Treatment

Fluoride Treatment

What Is It?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that can help to prevent tooth decay by strengthening teeth. Experts say the best way to prevent tooth decay is to use several sources of fluoride.

Fluoride is found naturally in water sources in small but traceable amounts, and in certain foods such as meat, fish, eggs and tea. Fluoride also is added to water in some areas and to toothpastes, rinses and professional treatments. Prescription fluoride tablets are available for children who do not drink fluoridated water.

What It's Used For
Enamel, the outer layer of the crown of a tooth (the visible part), is made of closely packed mineral crystals. Every day, minerals are lost and gained from inside the enamel crystals through processes called demineralization and remineralization. Demineralization occurs when acids, formed from the combination of plaque bacteria and sugar in your mouth, dissolve the crystals and the spaces between them. But this process is balanced by remineralization, in which minerals such as fluoride, calcium and phosphate are deposited inside the enamel, building it back up. Too much demineralization without enough remineralization to repair the enamel leads to tooth decay.

Fluoride strengthens teeth by helping to speed remineralization and disrupt the production of acids by bacteria. Fluoride can be incorporated into teeth in two ways. When children swallow fluoride in small doses (through food, supplements or fluoridated water), it enters the bloodstream and becomes incorporated in their developing permanent teeth, making it harder for acids to cause demineralization. Fluoride also can enter teeth directly in the mouth when it is applied at the dental office, when you brush with fluoride toothpaste or use a fluoride rinse and when fluoridated water washes over your teeth as you drink.

Fluoride treatments commonly are given to children as their teeth are developing. If your child has a history of cavities or is at high risk of decay, he or she should use additional fluoride to promote remineralization. Often, children get fluoride treatments every six months for extra protection against cavities, even if they already drink fluoridated water.

If your child has a history of cavities or is at high risk of decay, he or she should use additional fluoride, such as fluoride mouth rinses, to promote remineralization. These rinses, recommended for children over the age of 6, are found in the mouthwash section of most stores. Prescription fluoride rinses and gels that provide a higher level of fluoride also are available. Fluoride supplements generally are reserved for children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years who don’t drink fluoridated water. These are available as liquids for younger children and tablets for older children and can be prescribed by either your pediatrician or dentist.

Fluoride treatments help all teeth and help to prevent decay in both children and adults. Anyone who is at risk of dental decay is a good candidate for fluoride treatments. Factors that increase the risk of tooth decay include a history of cavities, infrequent dental visits, poor brushing habits and dietary factors, especially frequent snacking. Many common medications such as antihistamines and medications for high blood pressure, anxiety or depression can cause the mouth to be dry. Without enough saliva, tooth decay progresses quickly.

Before you have an in-office fluoride treatment, your teeth should be clean. Your dentist may need to polish away stains. Before using fluoride rinses or gels at home, thoroughly brush and floss your teeth. It's a good idea to use fluoride products at night before bedtime so there is less opportunity for them to be washed or rinsed away.

How It's Done
The fluoride treatments you receive in a dental office have a higher concentration of fluoride than over-the-counter fluoride mouthwash or toothpaste. They are used for both children and adults. Dental-office treatments also are different chemically and stay on the teeth longer.

There are two common types of professionally applied fluorides: acidulated phosphate fluoride (APF), which is acidic, and neutral sodium fluoride, which is not. Neutral sodium fluoride usually is used for people who have dry mouth (xerostomia) or who have tooth-colored fillings, crowns or bridges. An acidic fluoride may irritate dry tissues or create small pits in composite fillings.

Fluoride is applied as a gel, foam or varnish during a dental appointment. The teeth are dried so the fluoride doesn’t become diluted. Fluoride can be applied by using a tray that looks like a mouth guard for one to four minutes. Fluoride also can be painted directly on the teeth. It comes in a variety of flavors, but it should never be swallowed.

Fluoride supplements are usually used in children. They are taken each day in small quantities, ranging from 0.25 to 1 milligram per day based on the child's age and amount of fluoride in the water he or she drinks. Dentists do not prescribe more than 264 milligrams of fluoride tablets at a time because the toxic dose of fluoride for a 2-year-old child weighing 22 pounds is 320 milligrams. To avoid any chance of overdose, do not stock up on fluoride tablets. If you have any questions regarding fluoride risks, talk to your dentist or physician.

Everyone should use fluoridated toothpaste. Be careful with young children because they are more likely to swallow the toothpaste instead of spitting it out. Use only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste when they brush, and encourage them to spit out as much as possible. Avoid flavored toothpastes that may encourage swallowing.

Don’t eat, drink or smoke for at least 30 minutes after a professional fluoride treatment to increase the fluoride's contact with the teeth.

As with other compounds, fluoride is safe and effective when used properly, but it can be hazardous at high doses. All water-fluoridation systems are checked daily to maintain safe fluoride levels. Parents should supervise the use of all fluoride products, including toothpaste, in the home and keep fluoride tablets stored safely away from young children.

Toxic fluoride doses are based on weight. For instance, a toxic dose of fluoride for an 8-year-old child weighing 45 pounds is 655 milligrams. In comparison, an 8-ounce glass of water fluoridated to 1 part per million contains 0.25 milligrams of fluoride, and a small dab of toothpaste contains 0.24 milligrams of fluoride. Since these fluoride products are used in such small amounts, it is very difficult to receive toxic doses in a home setting.

When administered and used properly, fluoride is safe and effective. Young children, in particular, should be supervised during in-office treatments and when using fluoride products at home. If too much fluoride is swallowed, young children may become nauseous. Also, too much fluoride can cause spots to form on the enamel of any developing teeth. These spots will be visible when these teeth erupt into the mouth. Discuss these concerns with your dental professional so he or she can recommend which fluoride products are appropriate for you.

When To Call A Professional
It is important that you talk to your dentist or dental hygienist about any fluoride products you are using. Your dentist or hygienist can consider all sources of supplemental fluoride and determine which are best for you or your child.

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