The tooth has several layers and the outermost part- the enamel, is the hardest and it contains multiple minerals such as calcium. Daily, the tooth is exposed to two processes—demineralization and reabsorption of the minerals. When we consume foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrate, the food can strip the minerals from the teeth, weaken the enamel, and cause tooth decay. However, with fluoride treatment, you can minimize the chances of dental cavities and strengthen enamel, but what is it exactly?
Fluoride is a naturally-occurring and colorless mineral found in the earth’s surface, food, and toothpaste. Fluoride is applied on the tooth surface and when it is combined with calcium, it creates a shield against the acid present in the mouth.
Consuming foods high in carbohydrates increases acid production when the bacteria present in the mouth metabolize it. The acid not only attacks the enamel but also lowers the pH.
Furthermore, having less fluoride in the mouth will cause the acid to weaken the enamel and make it susceptible to decay and cracks. That is why our dentist in Pleasant Hill, CA advises you to brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste after meals. Because as long as you have fluoride in your mouth, it will protect your enamel.
Fluoride treatment protects the teeth from decay in various ways. As aforementioned, fluoride promotes the reabsorption of the lost minerals. Furthermore, it counteracts the effects of acid attacks in the mouth by blocking harmful enzymes.
Yes, depending on your dental conditions. Although fluoride treatment is mostly used by children, our Pleasant Hill Dentist can also recommend the treatment for adults. Why, because several dental and health conditions can warrant the use of fluoride treatments like dry mouth. Many prescription drugs can cause saliva production to decrease thereby increasing your risk of cavities.
Gum recession is yet another dental problem that exposes your tooth surface and makes it more susceptible to decay and cavities. If you have dental restorations such as bridges or crowns, a fluoride treatment may increase the protection of the teeth underneath.
Using fluoride toothpaste is effective, but if you have these conditions, you may need a professional fluoride treatment. At the dental office, you will get highly concentrated fluoride varnishes and gels, which offer the best results than over-the-counter treatments. Our dentist near you will apply the varnish on your teeth surface and wait for it to be absorbed before rinsing it off.
If you are at risk of recurrent cavities, the dentist may give you gels and fluoride rinse to use at home.
The frequency of the fluoride treatment will depend on the severity of the dental condition. However, according to the American Dental Association, fluoride treatment is needed for three, six, and 12 months for the best results.
Fluorosis is common among children as they ingest the mineral at high levels. In adults, the consumption of fluoride supplements will elevate the levels even higher. Fluorosis causes stains and white stripes on the enamel.
Fluorosis can be prevented by avoiding fluoride supplements (unless prescribed by the dentist) and keep the fluoride products away from children.
The most effective way is to brush using fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash. Ensure when brushing you have touched all sides of the teeth and gums. Also introduce foods such as milk, yam, cassava, fish, and eggs as they contain fluoride, though in low amounts.
Don’t forget to have regular dental checkups and receive a fluoride treatment with each appointment.
Fluoride treatment is effective in protecting your teeth against decay. If you still want to learn more about fluoride treatment in Pleasant Hill, CA, make an appointment with our dentist 94523 to discuss your options. Our dentist will assess your dental health and advise you on the best dental treatment tailor-made for you.