How Does Fluoride Work?Dental procedures can be costly. Therefore, the best way to stay healthy and maintain positive oral health is by taking regular preventative measures. Fluoride treatments are a great way to save money in the long-run. There are two primary ways individuals can get fluoride. Either through systemic fluorides like that found in drinking water or topical fluorides like that in toothpaste. However, the best way to get the full effect of fluoride is through treatment. Your dentist will fill a mouthguard with fluoride in a paste or gel and then insert it into your mouth. It takes roughly five minutes for the fluoride to absorb into your teeth. After this time, the mouthguard is removed, and any remnants of the fluoride rinsed away. The entire procedure is quick, painless, and noninvasive, usually done after routine cleaning. Sometimes dentists use a varnish or foam, which is then painted onto your teeth directly. This process takes the same amount of time and, when complete, concludes with a rinse. Individuals should avoid eating or drinking for at least thirty minutes afterward. If patients haven’t already quit smoking (because it causes serious health problems aside from discoloring and damaging teeth), then they should avoid smoking for at least thirty minutes after the procedure as well.
Benefits of Fluoride TreatmentsThere are three main benefits to getting regular fluoride treatments at Supreme Dentistry. These benefits include:
- Enamel Protection: Much of what we drink is mildly acidic, which wears enamel away over time, and very sugary, which allows for bacteria to grow. When enamel deteriorates, your teeth become more sensitive to temperature and susceptible to cavities. Fortunately, fluoride fortifies your enamel, repairing damage and strengthening it.
- Restoring Minerals: Acids from food and drink do more damage to teeth than just breaking down enamel. What we consume can cause your teeth to lose necessary minerals like calcium and phosphorous, weakening them. Losing these minerals increases the likelihood of damage like cracking or chipping as well as discoloration. Fluoride reverses this damage restoring minerals. This remineralization is essential to maintaining oral health.
- Preventing Cavities and Tooth Decay: Sugars and starches from the foods we eat encourage bacteria to thrive. As it grows on and between teeth, bacteria begin to eat away at the enamel. This is why it’s so important to brush and floss after meals. However, simply brushing and flossing may not be enough to deter cavities from forming or to prevent tooth decay (when bacteria break through the enamel and begins to eat away at the tooth itself). Regular dental cleanings help, but fluoride can stop tooth decay and reverse the damage done.
Supreme DentistryYour dentist can also recommend products you can use at home to increase the amount of fluoride as part of your oral care regime. At Supreme Dentistry, we’re proud to provide family and other general dentistry services to our patients as well as emergency dental services. Our treatment options include:
- Dental cleanings
- Dental fillings
- Teeth whitening
- Dental implants