Plaque bacteria use the sugar in our diet to form acid. The acid constantly attacks enamel, the outermost layer of our teeth. It is no wonder that everyday, we lose minerals from our teeth.
When fluoride is absorbed into the enamel layer, it helps to repair the tooth surface by replenishing the lost calcium and phosphorous. This helps to keep our teeth hard. This process is called remineralization. Therefore, the application of fluoride strengthens teeth surfaces, making them more resistant to tooth decay. In fact, research has shown that fluoride can even help to reverse early tooth decay, before cavities develop.
Fluoride is a natural mineral found in many foods. Low concentrations of fluoride can also be found in our local tap water, fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwash at home. Fluoride treatments done in the dental clinic allow for a much higher concentration of fluoride to be applied to your teeth. This can benefit individuals with the following conditions:
- Teeth susceptible to decay
- Poor oral hygiene
- Dry mouth
- Individuals with braces
- Individuals with dental crowns or bridges
- Individuals whose diets are rich in sugars and acidic drinks and
- Frequent snackers
Fluoride treatment is best done when the tooth surface is clean. It may be performed immediately after scaling and polishing or on its own for targeted spots in the mouth. Only one appointment is required for fluoride treatment. Fluoride may be in the form of a gel, foam, or varnish. Typically, it is applied with a brush or placed in a tray that is held in the mouth for several minutes. After the treatment, you will be asked not to rinse, eat, or drink for at least 30 minutes. This is to allow the teeth to absorb fluoride, allowing the repair of microscopic cavities.
Safe and affordable, fluoride treatment helps you maintain good dental health. Depending on your
oral health status, fluoride treatments may be recommended every 3, 6, or 12 months.