Professional dental fluoride treatments are a common treatment designed to make the teeth stronger and more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria. Fluoride is a mineral naturally found in many foods and water and works to help strengthen the enamel on your teeth by replenishing nutrients that are lost with every day wear and tear. One of the main benefits of fluoride is that it helps prevent tooth decay and reverse erosion that is already occurring on the teeth.
Receiving professional dental fluoride treatments are beneficial because they are far stronger than any fluoride product you may buy at your local drugstore or pharmacy. Fluoride treatments may be recommended for various reasons, including poor oral hygiene, noticeable tooth decay, lack of regular dental care and eating disorders. Professional fluoride treatments come in a variety of forms and have many great benefits.
What is Fluoride?
As stated above, fluoride is a mineral found naturally in many foods and water. Through regular eating and drinking habits minerals are both added to and lost from the enamel of a tooth. Demineralization (lost minerals) attacks the enamel on the teeth and leads to a buildup of plaque bacteria and sugars. Remineralization (the addition of minerals such as fluoride, calcium and phosphate) adds to the layer of enamel on the teeth.
If someone has too much demineralization without enough remineralization it may lead to tooth decay, which is where professional dental fluoride treatments come in. An extra dose of fluoride will make the teeth more resistant to acid attacks and also works to reverse early signs of tooth decay. It may also speed up the remineralization process and stop acid production from continuing.
Forms of Fluoride and the Treatment Process
Professional dental fluoride treatments can be administered at our office in a matter of minutes. These treatments come in several different forms, including a solution, gel, foam or varnish. Depending on the recommendation from Dr. Nishimura, the fluoride is applied directly to the teeth with a cotton swab, used as a rinse or placed in a tray that is then held in the mouth for several minutes. After the treatment it is recommended to you do not rinse, eat or drink for at least 30 minutes. This will give the teeth enough time to absorb the fluoride and repair any areas of decay.
People Who May Benefit from Dental Fluoride Treatments
Professional fluoride treatments are used to protect the oral health of both children and adults. It is particularly beneficial for patients who show signs of or are at a higher risk of developing tooth decay. Individuals who have the following conditions may also benefit from a fluoride treatment at our office:
- Constant Dry Mouth (Xerostomia) due to certain diseases, medications or head and neck radiation treatment
- Gum disease
- History of frequent cavities
- Presence of crowns or bridges
Dental fluoride treatments are a simple, painless treatment with many great benefits and works to help people maintain their oral health.