There are numerous factors that lead to tooth decay, otherwise known as cavities, & there are many ways to prevent it. Tooth decay can be a significant problem for children as well as adults.
Topical fluoride treatments are an effective way to deter cavities and remineralize weakened tooth enamel. All children receive a fluoride treatment at each preventive care appointment, until 14 years of age. Adults also receive treatments if needed or requested.
Many communities add a small amount of fluoride to their water in order to help the local population strengthen their teeth. Fluoride occurs naturally in many foods as well, including pickles, grape juice, spinach & tomatoes. Fluoride is also an ingredient in most toothpastes & some mouthwashes.
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that has been shown to both prevent tooth decay & even reverse it in the early stages. Fluoride acts by strengthening your enamel, which is the hard shiny outer layer of your teeth that protects the softer, more vulnerable dentin beneath. Fluoride can re-mineralize tiny micro-cavities before they have the chance to grow into larger cavities & cause problems.
We Offer Fluoride Treatments
At our office, we offer professional fluoride treatments for children, who are often at higher risk for cavities as their teeth grow & develop & they learn good oral hygiene habits. We recommend fluoride as a preventive treatment for children. Fluoride treatments are usually done at six-month cleaning appointments. Treatment involves the dentist applying varnish to your teeth using a gel, foam, or a rinse. We may also recommend fluoride treatments for adults who are at high risk of tooth decay.
And of course, we always recommend that you use a toothpaste that contains fluoride.