Cavities are the most common dental health ailment in the world. Almost all Americans experience a cavity at one time or another in their life. Cavities are caused by acid-producing bacteria that collect around your teeth and gums in a sticky, yellow film called plaque.
This film can be cleaned with good oral care, including regular brushing and flossing as well as a routine professional dental cleaning. This prevents the development of cavities. Another effective way to protect your teeth from the damaging effects of bacteria is through fluoride treatment.
At Ford Dental Group, we can offer you fluoride treatment that can disrupt the activity of bacteria and help strengthen and remineralize your teeth.
What Is Fluoride?
Many people have heard of the mineral fluoride, but they often don’t know how it is beneficial for our teeth. Fluoride is a mineral that is found in natural water, certain foods, and supplements. It can be taken both topically and systemically.
Topical fluorides are applied externally, for example, on the enamel of the teeth to protect them from decay. Systemic fluorides are taken in through fluoridated water, food, and supplements.
What Does A Fluoride Treatment Involve?
Fluoride treatment is a completely non-invasive and safe preventive dental treatment that takes only a few minutes. At Ford Dental Group, Dr. Jonathan Ford will make a fluoride solution, gel, or foam that contains a high concentration of fluoride. This preparation will then be applied to your teeth with the help of a fine brush or cotton swab. It may also be used as a mouth rinse.
Alternatively, we may also use dental trays filled with fluoride preparations and place them on your teeth for several minutes.
After the treatment, you should not rinse your mouth or eat or drink anything for at least 30 minutes. This will give the fluoride sufficient time to be absorbed by the teeth.
Depending on the health of your teeth and the risk factors associated with you, we may recommend a repeat of the fluoride treatment every three, six, or 12 months.
For an extra layer of protection, we may also recommend some over-the-counter fluoride mouth rinses for everyday use.
Who Are The Candidates For Fluoride Treatment?
Fluoride treatment can be given to anyone over the age of two who is in danger of getting cavities. Some risk factors that increase the likelihood of cavities include:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Eating disorders
- Tobacco, drug, and alcohol abuse
- Foregoing routine professional dental care
- Not caring for oral hygiene during an active orthodontic treatment
- Exposed tooth root due to gingivitis
- Decreased flow of saliva resulting in dry mouth
- A poor diet rich in sugary food
- Tooth enamel defects
- Undergoing radiation therapy to the head region
Fluoride treatment should not be used on children below the age of two or on pregnant women. If an infant is exposed to too much fluoride, it can cause dental fluorosis – a condition that causes white or discolored marks to appear on the teeth – later in life.
Benefits Of Fluoride Treatment
Fluoride treatment is very beneficial for the protection and continued health of your natural teeth. If you are at high risk of cavities, we may recommend fluoride treatment for you. Some of the benefits of this mineral include:
- Fluoride enables the body to make better use of bone-building minerals like calcium and phosphates.
- Fluoride strengthens baby teeth making them less vulnerable to bacterial infection.
- It can also reverse minor damage to the enamel caused by bacteria.
- It can ensure a child’s primary teeth do not fall out prematurely and ensure better dental health.
- It reduces the likelihood of getting expensive and invasive dental restorations in the future.
Keep in mind, though, that fluoride treatment cannot restore enamel with moderate or severe damage. Once your enamel is destroyed, it is gone for good and you will need to resort to restorative dentistry to ensure your tooth does not fall out before its time. That is why we advise you to also exercise good oral care and lifestyle habits when using fluoride treatment.
If you or your family members are concerned about cavities, fluoride treatment can help prevent those. Call us at (714) 409-6161 and we will determine the health of your teeth and come up with a personalized dental care plan for you.