In the 1960’s, this slogan first introduced Americans to a new product: fluoride toothpaste. At the time, it was not unusual for children to have tooth cavities, and one of the main reasons for dental visits was to identify and treat those cavities with fillings.
After 50 years of continuously improving dental health, today the opposite is true. It is now commonplace for American children to reach adulthood without the need for fillings. Can the use of fluoride toothpaste, alone, account for this turnaround? Most studies show that there are actually three factors that have contributed to this significant improvement in dental health.
1.Better dental hygiene: The addition of fluoride to dental hygiene routines has played a role in reducing the incidence of tooth decay. In many American cities, fluoride is added to the drinking water and fluoride treatments are applied during visits to the dentist. However, the use of fluoride toothpaste is still the primary way that Americans utilize the anti-cavity power of fluoride. Regular brushing is the first line of defense against cavities.
2. Widespread access to preventative dental care: Improvements in dental access and technology have also played a significant role in preventing tooth decay. Today, most children receive regular dental care, including semiannual cleanings, periodic x-rays, and regular examinations by the dentist. Problems are identified early and measures are taken before they become serious dental conditions. In addition, dentists now recommend the application of dental sealants as soon as a child’s permanent molars have come in. These sealants cover hard-to-clean surfaces of the teeth and prevent decay that was commonplace 50 years ago.
3.Availability of a well-balanced diet: Healthy teeth and gums require the proper nutrition, and today Americans can choose from a wide variety of options to provide a healthy diet for their children. Fresh fruits and vegetables are available year-round, as are dairy products and dairy substitutes like soy milk. Even picky eaters can receive the nutritional building blocks for healthy teeth through tasty nutritional supplements.
At The Dental Depot of Highland Village we are dedicated to giving our patients the best family dental care possible. Call us today to schedule regular dental check-ups for every member of your family. With the most up-to-date techniques and training, Dr. Himesh Kana and Dr. Neil Patel will work to keep you—and your children—cavity-free.