When it comes to preventing tooth decay, few things are as effective as fluoride. You have probably heard of fluoride before—certain kinds of toothpaste and mouth washes contain it, and it is a word commonly used in relation to dentistry. Many people tend to be surprised that you can get fluoride “treatment”, however, and therefore do not ever take advantage of this procedure. It’s an important one to keep in mind, however, because if you take in less fluoride than you lose, you are putting yourself at great risk for tooth decay.
How do fluoride treatments help?Fluoride is an important part of the battle against tooth decay. It works to prevent decay by protecting your teeth from the acid that things like sugar and plaque bacteria can introduce into your mouth. In fact, fluoride is so good at this particular job that it can even work to reverse tooth decay in its early stages! This is one of the reasons why young children are often instructed to use products enriched with fluoride, as it can be an important part of the development of healthy permanent teeth. When used early enough and in sufficient quantities, fluoride can help make children’s permanent teeth stronger and harder to be demineralized.
Fluoride isn’t only useful for children, of course. Adults can benefit from additional fluoride, too! You can get fluoride treatments at Kooning Family Dentistry, for example, that are full of a higher concentration of fluoride than what you might find in over the counter toothpastes or mouth washes.
How is fluoride applied?When it comes to fluoride treatments, there are a few different options. In general, you can get treatments in a foam, varnish, or gel. Fluoride varnishes in particular tend to be highly effective for fluoride treatments, and work by being painted on a patient’s teeth. One of the benefits of choosing a varnish over other forms of treatment is that you can drink or eat immediately after your procedure is over, while you might have to wait awhile with some of the other options. If you need even more fluoride in your life, there are supplements you can take to help boost your levels. These have to be prescribed by a doctor or a dentist, however, so you will need to come in for an appointment in order to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for them.
What can extra fluoride do for me?If you have certain conditions that put you at an increased risk for tooth decay, you will benefit from fluoride treatments that work to counteract them. Things like dry mouth, gum disease, frequent cavities, poor diet, and deep grooves and pits in teeth all increase the risk for tooth decay. If you deal with any of the above, then fluoride treatments can help protect your teeth from demineralization.
Are you interested in learning more about fluoride treatments? Give us a call at (503) 673-9097 today and schedule an appointment to come in and speak with one of our experts!