Your teeth contain a naturally occurring element known as fluoride. Every day, the foods and beverages you consume cause fluoride loss. Fluoride is also lost due to acid attacks by oral bacteria and plaque buildup. Fortunately, fluoride can, and is, restored daily. This is done through certain foods, treated water, and fluoridated oral care products. At South Main Dental, we can also help you to replenish fluoride with fluoride treatments.
The Importance of Fluoride
Both oral bacteria and plaque are naturally occurring in the human mouth. Despite this, having too much can be very harmful to your oral health. They both produce acids that can eat away at your tooth enamel, which leads to tooth decay. As the acids continue to erode the enamel, pits, or cavities, develop. Cavities provide ideal hiding places for oral bacteria, and they can continue their destruction uninterrupted. The longer cavities go untreated, the larger they become. They can develop into the inner layer of the teeth, which can also lead to a serious, and painful, infection. Fluoride helps to protect your teeth against the acid attacks from oral bacteria and plaque. It can also reverse the early stages of tooth decay.
Risks for Tooth Decay
There are several risks for tooth decay.
Poor oral hygiene practices. Brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings and exams are all crucial steps in maintaining optimal oral health. Skipping, or even completely ignoring, any of these steps allows bacteria and plaque to accumulate, making it more likely for your teeth to experience decay.
Fluoride treatments are simple, straightforward, and completely painless. There is no need for even a local anesthetic. Fluoride treatments are administered after your teeth have been thoroughly cleaned. We paint a fluoride gel onto your teeth. The fluoride absorbs directly into the enamel, effectively remineralizing your teeth. For treatments to be most effective, you should avoid eating or drinking anything for at least 30 minutes following the application of the gel. The gel does not need to be rinsed or otherwise cleaned away.
I Thought Fluoride was for Kids?
When most people think about fluoride treatments, they often think about children. Children tend to be more prone to cavities than adults. Fluoride is an extra step to help protect their teeth. It is also essential for the development of their adult teeth. However, fluoride treatments are not exclusive to children. Anyone of any age can benefit from fluoride treatments if necessary.
Fluoride helps to keep your enamel strong and prevent the damages caused by acid attacks. If you are interested in learning more about fluoride treatment, and finding out if it is right for you, contact South Main Dental at (662) 586-2311 today.