Fluoride Treatment for Preventive Dental Care
The tooth enamel loses minerals each day due to the effect of acids and bacteria found in the mouth. When this demineralization process occurs, the enamel weakens and becomes prone to decay. Fortunately, remineralization takes place when fluoride is re-deposited to the enamel layer. Read on for the role of fluoride treatment in preventive dental care.
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in various foods and water. However, the amount of fluoride found in your food and water may be inadequate to remineralize your teeth effectively. Your dentist in Tampa, FL, reinforces the little mineral by providing fluoride treatments. Alternatively, they may prescribe fluoride supplements, fluoridated toothpaste, and mouth rinses.
Children are at the highest risk of cavities compared to adults. This is because they consume plenty of sugars and starches. In addition, kids cannot maintain proper oral hygiene. Therefore, they need fluoride to help prevent cavities as soon as the first tooth erupts.
They may start getting fluoride treatments from a dentist in Tampa, FL, immediately after the first baby tooth appears. However, kids should not use fluoride toothpaste until they turn two. They have learned to spit at this age and will not swallow the entire amount of fluoride toothpaste. Ingested fluoride may lead to dental fluorosis, a condition that weakens teeth further.
Fluoride treatments begin in earnest at age six when the permanent teeth start to develop. Regular topical applications are necessary until age 16. Frequent applications may be needed at specific periods as the teeth grow and develop. For example, when the child is undergoing orthodontic treatment, fluoride will help protect the tooth. It will keep part of the tooth that comes into contact with the braces from decaying.
Fluoride Varnish for Adults
Fluoride application is also recommended for adults, not just kids. Dentists use fluoride varnish for adults who are at increased risk of tooth decay because of certain factors. These include dry mouth conditions, gum disease leading to gum recession, and a history of frequent cavities. In addition, if the patient has a disability in the limbs, fluoride varnish will help keep caries at bay.
Teeth with the presence of braces, crowns, or bridges are at risk of decay. Decay takes place where the restorations meet the tooth. Therefore, the dentist will recommend regular fluoride treatments for people with such repairs. This treatment is also used for dentin desensitization in permanent teeth. The remineralization process restores the enamel causing the nerves within to be less sensitive.
Professional Fluoride Treatment Process
First, you schedule a consultation with a dentist for fluoride treatment near you. The dentist will review your dental and general health history at the dental office. Then, they will scrutinize your teeth for cavities to detect areas requiring more concentration.
Next, the dentist will clean your teeth to remove plaque, acids, and bacteria. The dental expert will dry the teeth carefully to promote the proper absorption of fluoride. Next, the fluoride, which may be in the form of a varnish, gel, a highly concentrated rinse, or foam, is applied to the teeth. Alternatively, the dentist may use dental trays in the administration process.
The dentist will request you avoid consuming anything for 30 minutes after the treatment. You may also be asked to wait a while before flossing or brushing your teeth. This period will allow the fluoride to be fully absorbed into the teeth. If you are at a very high risk of cavities, the dentist may prescribe fluoride supplements for continued use at home.
Benefits of Fluoride Treatment
- The mineral is helpful in preventive dentistry. It helps prevent and reduce tooth decay and cavities. Fluoride makes the tooth more resistant to dental plaque, sugars, and bacteria attacks.
- The mineral also disrupts oral acid production preventing enamel erosion and cavities.
- Fluoride helps the teeth to reabsorb helpful minerals such as phosphate and calcium. They work together to promote tooth remineralization, repair the tooth enamel and reverse early caries.
- Remineralization after fluoride treatments also reduces the size and depth of white spot lesions on teeth.
- The treatments promote the reduction of tooth sensitivity by building up the tooth enamel.
- Decay prevention through the treatment also helps prevent gum disease and premature tooth loss.
Contact us at New Tampa Smiles for fluoride treatments for the entire family.