Fight tooth decay safely and effectively!
Although children receive fluoride treatments as a routine part of their teeth cleanings, fluoride is typically considered an optional procedure for adults. However, recently released evidence suggests that there are more benefits to be gained from fluoride treatments for adults than previously thought. Many years of painstaking research on the use of fluoride has demonstrated that it is an effective and safe method of preventive dentistry that fights tooth decay.
It has been shown that patients who receive fluoride treatments are likely to be in a more positive frame of mind when leaving their dentist’s office and may be more motivated to step up their daily oral hygiene practices and take better care of their teeth.
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can be found in water and in many foods. Minerals are gained and lost from the enamel layer of your teeth every single day by way of demineralization and re-mineralization.
Demineralization occurs when acids that are formed from sugars and plaque bacteria in your mouth attack the enamel layer of your teeth. Re-mineralization occurs when calcium, fluoride, and phosphates are redeposited onto the enamel layer of your teeth from the water and foods you consume. When demineralization occurs without a corresponding amount of re-mineralization to repair the damage to the enamel layer of your teeth, tooth decay occurs.
Using fluoride helps to avoid tooth decay by making your teeth resistant to the acid attacks that occur from sugars and plaque bacteria that form in your mouth. Fluoride can also reverse early tooth decay.
How Is Fluoride Administered?
Although fluoride naturally occurs in food and water, it is also applied directly to your teeth through over-the-counter fluoridated mouthwashes and toothpastes. Higher concentrations of fluoride in mouthwashes can be obtained with a doctor’s prescription.
Your Markham dentist, Dr Nalini Sutharsan, can also treat your teeth with a fluoridated foam, gel, or varnish. Clinical fluoride treatments have much higher levels of fluoride than what you will find in mouthwashes and toothpastes. Foam treatments are applied to a mouth guard and then inserted in the patient’s mouth for 1-4 minutes. Treatment with varnishes is applied by painting the substance directly onto the patient’s teeth. Gel treatments can be applied with a mouth guard or painted directly onto the patient’s teeth.
Patients can also receive fluoride supplements that are prescribed by dentists, a family doctor, or pediatrician in the form of tablets or liquids.
When Should Patients Use Fluoride?
It’s generally accepted that children and infants from the ages of six months to 16 years receive clear benefits from fluoride exposure. A children’s dentist will explain that the reason it’s helpful is because this is the time in which primary and permanent teeth mature.
However, there’s a great deal of evidence that suggests that adults can benefit from fluoride treatments as well. Recent research demonstrates that topical fluorides from mouthwashes, toothpastes, and fluoride treatments can be an important tool in strengthening teeth and fighting tooth decay.