No Cavities? You Can Thank The Fluoride!

People fall into three categories, there’s the “What the heck is fluoride” category, the “NO! I don’t want fluoride” category, and the “Duh, give me the fluoride” category. Although we’re hoping that our patients fall into the latter of the three we know that certainly isn’t the case. Our office is in Sacramento County, a county that does not fluoridate its water. An interesting concept considering that the centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls fluoridation “one of the 10 most valuable public health measures of the 20th century.” (Read that here: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00056796.htm)

What’s all the fuss about anyway? Fluoride was introduced and the rates of tooth decay decreased significantly in communities who adopted fluoridated drinking water. Fluoridated drinking water was so successful that soon it seemed everything contained fluoride:  orange juice, milk, toothpastes, drops, gels, and ingestible tablets. So while decay was on the decline, over fluoridation was on the rise.Fluoride In Water

This sparked an enormous debate that is still going strong and is not wavering. Over fluoridation called fluorosis, can create dark spots or white spots on the teeth because fluoride used too much will be poisonous. Fluorosis is rarely a result of fluoridated drinking water.  Just like one drink at the end of a long day is fine, 19 drinks will kill you. The CDC, American Dental Association (ADA), and most national health agencies endorse fluoride.

Think about this, less tooth decay means less visits to the dentist and less of your money going to the dentist, but yet all the dental associations and all the dentists you know ENCOURAGE you to get fluoride. That must mean that is a beneficial mineral for your teeth.

Fluoride provided in the office is not swallowed; it is applied topically, just like toothpaste. The fluoride helps to strengthen your teeth by filling the porous surfaces of your teeth with vitamins and minerals. According to the CDC, every $1 invested in fluoridated saves approximately $38 in dental treatment costs.

But still, this effort to fluoride communities has been called an unconstitutional form of mass medication and the culprit for medical issues such as AIDS, Down syndrome, all forms and cancer, the list goes on. Although no scientific data validates these claims, fluorosis (over fluoridation) does occur. Therefore, babies younger than 6 months old should not be given fluoride, their formula should not be prepared with fluoridated water and children that are younger than 2 years of age are advised not to use fluoridate toothpaste. For all children, toothpaste use should be monitored, kept out of their reach, and made sure to be spit out.

For information on flossing visit this article: https://bestsacramentodentist.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/irritated-bleeding-gums-and-flossing_sacramentodentist/

5 Things That Prove Your Dentist Isn’t Scamming You

1. Dental Assistant Recommends the Dentist

No one knows the Dentist better than the dental assistant. They know every corner they are willing to cut and every line they are willing to cross. So, does the assistant highly recommend the dentist? If you aren’t sure pull the assistant aside and have a word with her about your dental care. Does she advise you to follow the dentist’s instructions? Does she advise you to get a second opinion? Or, does she seem to respect the doctor and her medical opinion? If she does then you are in good hands.

2. Pushes Regular Hygiene Visits

I know, I know. You are rolling your eyes right now thinking that the dentist is laughing all the way to the bank, right? You couldn’t be further from the truth though. People who take care of their gums with regular flossing and brushing definitely do not see extensive care with the Dentist as much as those who don’t. When a dentist pushes regular hygiene visits they are trying to save you money in the long run. True story.

3. Low Patient Turn-Over Rate

This one’s a no brainer. A dental office with a high patient turn-over rate is not able to keep all of its patients happy so they go somewhere else. Of all the new patients that come in to the office every month very few actually return.

A good way to judge this is to see how busy the office is and the overall tone of the office. A shady office is so busy that patients are waiting a half hour or more before they are seen. The patients in the waiting room seem antsy, angry, or unsure and may not be responding well the front-desk staff.  And speaking of front desk staff – if they are rude let your dentist know. Dental work is expensive and the last thing you should have to worry about is a receptionist with a chip on their shoulder.

4. Dentist Believes That The Best Dentistry is No Dentistry

Seems counter-productive doesn’t it? But it’s not. This means that as a dentist they are providing you only the care that you need. Think about it. A dentist’s #1 priority should be you and your oral care, not money. All elective procedures should be presented as such: implants, braces, and smile makeovers included.

5. Raise the Bar on Level of Care

Let’s face it, if you leave decisions like whether or not to floss up to regular people they are going to decide not to floss! We hear it every day when a patient refuses x-rays because they “don’t need x-rays”. When the reality of it is that people don’t know what is going on in their mouth. So a dentist who raises the level of care for their patients is an educator. They explain, successfully, the need to not only floss regularly but to come in for that six-month cleaning. To not only take the x-rays but to allow the patient to understand that those x-rays are an integral part of the doctor’s knowledge of their mouth.