Gallagher Cosmetic and Family Dentistry offers fluoride treatment to patients. Fluoride is a mineral found in many foods and water. Fluoride helps protect teeth against the damaging effects of acids caused by bacteria and sugars that are found in the mouth. Throughout the day, when plaque forms on the teeth and dissolves the enamel, the teeth lose minerals through the process of demineralization. Normally, the body counteracts demineralization by adding minerals to the teeth, including fluoride, calcium, and phosphate. In some cases, the degree of demineralization of the teeth is greater than the amount of minerals being replaced, causing tooth decay.
Frequently Asked Questions About Fluoride Treatments
Why do the teeth lose more minerals than what is replaced?
Poor oral hygiene causes higher levels of plaque in the mouth. The body is not able to meet the increased need for minerals to protect the enamel. Often, poor dietary habits contribute to fewer minerals being available to the body to protect the enamel.
Why are fluoride treatments recommended for children?
Between the ages of six months and 16 years, children’s teeth are still developing. As they develop, the teeth are especially vulnerable to the damaging effects of plaque and bacteria. During these ages, children are still learning how to properly brush and floss their teeth.
How can patients ensure that their teeth have enough fluoride to maintain healthy enamel?
Fluoride toothpastes and good oral hygiene are two of the best defenses against harmful plaque and bacteria. Some mouth rinses contain fluoride. During these treatments, the dentist uses gels, pastes, and other applications that contain high concentrations of fluoride. For some patients, the dentist may prescribe toothpaste that has high levels of fluoride.
Are fluoride treatments recommended for adults?
Adults, especially those with certain medical conditions, benefit from fluoride treatments. Oral health is significantly affected by conditions that cause dry mouth. Patients with gum disease, fillings, crowns, bridges, or braces benefit from fluoride treatments.