When acids from foods and beverages linger on the teeth, they slowly eat away at the enamel, or thin outer covering, on the teeth. In addition to calcium and phosphate, one of the main minerals lost to this demineralization process is fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that appears in most foods and local water supplies. Because fluoride strengthens the teeth’s enamel which can help prevent decay, fluoride is an active component in many brands of toothpaste.
If you are concerned that you do not get enough fluoride to keep your teeth enamel strong, you may be a good candidate for fluoride treatments at Garcia | Mayoral Dentistry in Coral Gables, Florida.
Fluoride Treatment Details
Fluoride treatment is easy and quick and can be completed after a regular dental cleaning. It can be performed by a dentist or dental hygienist. In gel or foam form, fluoride is brushed on your teeth. Since fluoride can be harmful when ingested in large quantities, it is important that you avoid swallowing it. After a few minutes, you will receive permission to rinse and spit out the fluoride.
Another option is fluoride varnish. The varnish is rubbed on your teeth, but you do not need to spit it out. After a varnish treatment, you must avoid eating and drinking for at least half an hour and avoiding crunchy or acidic foods for a few hours thereafter.
Fluoride Treatments Are for Children and Adults
Fluoride treatments are a standard part of juvenile dentistry. Because new teeth have weaker enamel, children can benefit from having their teeth treated with fluoride. These treatments are covered by most dental insurance plans for kids.
While fluoride treatments are most common for children, dentists often perform them for adult patients as well. During your dental examination, Dr. Faustino Garcia or Dr. Oliver Mayoral may find evidence of weakening enamel and recommend fluoride treatments for the ongoing health of your teeth.
Any adult who wishes to be proactive about their teeth can safely undergo a fluoride treatment. Adults who are most in need of fluoride treatments include those who are:
- Prone to cavities. By strengthening the enamel of the teeth, fluoride can reduce the rate of cavities.
- Dealing with receding gums. Tooth roots exposed when the gums recede don’t have the same hard enamel as the tops of the teeth. Fluoride can help to better protect these roots.
- Missing fluoride in their diet or water supply. It is worth researching how much (if any) fluoride is added to your water to determine whether you may need supplemental treatment.
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The most important thing to understand about fluoride treatments is that they do not singlehandedly stop tooth decay. Brushing and flossing each day, along with semiannual teeth cleanings, remain your best bet for maintaining healthy, strong, cavity-free teeth. With that said, fluoride treatments can absolutely be a part of your preventative dentistry routine.