Regardless of your oral hygiene practices, the chances are good that you will experience tooth decay at some point in your life. However, there are steps you can take to protect your teeth and reduce these occurrences. At College Hill Dental, we offer professional fluoride treatment to prevent tooth decay and help you maintain excellent oral health.
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral found in many of our foods and drinking water. This mineral helps prevent dental caries, more commonly known as tooth decay, from destroying the enamel, or outer layer of the tooth. Tooth decay is the direct result of the acid-producing bacteria found in plaque that constantly collects around the teeth and gums. These bacteria feed on simple carbohydrates like sugar. The more they feed, the more acids they produce. The acids eat away at the enamel through a process known as demineralization.
Demineralization happens every day when the enamel loses vital minerals the acids attack the tooth. Fortunately, teeth also regain minerals through the foods and liquids we consume. This process is known as remineralization. Tooth decay occurs when the rate of demineralization exceeds that of remineralization. This is where fluoride treatment comes into play. Fluoride treatment supplements the process of remineralization, which prevents the decay caused by acid attacks from bacterial plaque buildup.
In-Office Fluoride Treatment
There are two types of fluoride treatment: systemic and topical. Systemic fluoride treatment involves the ingestion of fluoridate water or a fluoride supplement. This type of treatment strengthens the teeth from the inside out. The maximum reduction of tooth decay occurs when fluoride treatment is both systemic and topical.
In-office fluoride treatment involves the application of topical fluoride. Topical fluoride comes in several forms, including gel, foam, varnish, or a liquid solution. During your appointment, one of these types of fluoride will be applied to your teeth using a cotton swab, brush, or tray that is held in the mouth.
Most fluoride treatments typically take a few minutes. Once your treatment is complete, we will ask you to refrain from rinsing, eating, or drinking anything for at least 30 minutes. This gives the fluoride ample time to properly absorb into the enamel and strengthen your teeth. Fluoride can even reverse microscopic instance of decay if they are caught early enough.
Who Qualifies for Fluoride Treatment?
Any patient, child or adult, can qualify for fluoride treatment. Fluoride treatment is especially important for children, teenagers, and older patients. Studies have shown that these patients are at a greater risk of developing tooth decay. Depending on the condition of your oral health, Dr. Paskalev may recommend a fluoride treatment every three, six, or 12 months. If you are at an increased risk of decay, we may also recommend additional preventive measures. Fluoridated mouthwash and fluoride supplements can provide the extra protection you need! Of course, fluoride treatment is not a substitute for regular oral hygiene practices. Be sure you continue to brush your teeth twice a day with an ADA approved toothpaste, and floss once a day.
Schedule Your Fluoride Treatment Today!
Fluoride treatment can drastically improve your oral health. Call (541) 393-2575 to schedule your fluoride treatment today!