Just How Important Is Fluoride?
Both plaque and oral bacteria occur naturally in the mouth. Plaque and bacteria can rapidly multiply and build up on the surfaces of the teeth throughout the day. Both produce acids that can erode the enamel and lead to cavities or small pits on the surfaces of your teeth. Bacteria hide out in these cavities and continue to multiply and produce acids. If left untreated, cavities continue to grow larger, weakening the structure of the affected tooth. Cavities can even grow into the inner layers of the teeth, which can then lead to an infection. Fluoride works to strengthen the enamel of your teeth by aiding in remineralization and making the teeth more decay resistant. In doing so, it helps to prevent the formation of tooth decay and cavities. Fluoride, in combination with flossing once a day and brushing twice a day, can also help to reverse the early stages of decay.
Risk Factors for Tooth Decay
There are certain risk factors that can increase your risk of developing tooth decay and cavities:
Fluoride treatments are simple, fast, and completely painless. Fluoride works by absorbing in through the enamel and remineralizing the teeth. They are typically done at the end of your biannual dental cleanings, but can be done at any time. After your teeth have been thoroughly cleaned, fluoride is applied onto the surfaces of your teeth. There are two ways to do this. One is with a varnish or a gel we apply to the teeth which remains on your teeth and does not need to be washed away. A soft diet and room temperature liquids can be consumed immediately since there is no waiting period after placement. Second is a foam solution that is placed in trays and kept in your mouth for 1 minute. It is recommended that you do not eat or drink anything for at least 30 minutes following this application of your fluoride treatment for maximum effectiveness.
But, I Thought Fluoride Was Only for Children
Fluoride treatments are usually associated with children, however, while children tend to be more prone to cavities, anyone can develop a cavity no matter what their age. Fluoride treatments provide the same benefits for adults as they do for children, helping to protect your teeth from the harmful effects of acid erosion.
Fluoride is an essential element for helping to protect your teeth against acid attacks and preventing tooth decay and cavities. If you are interested in fluoride treatments for your teeth, call The Elmwood Dental Group LLC, at (860) 331-8748.