Fluoride is a naturally occurring element in the enamel of your teeth. It aids in strengthening the enamel, helping to prevent damage from the acids produced by oral bacteria and plaque, as well as from the acids in foods and drinks that your teeth are exposed to. Exposure to acids causes fluoride loss in the teeth, a process is known as demineralization. Just like fluoride is lost, it is also replaceable. It is found in treated tap water and a variety of specially formulated oral care products. Certain foods even contain trace amounts. There are plenty of people who get all of the fluorides they need daily to help keep their teeth healthy. However, there are others who do not. If your teeth do not get enough fluoride, they are at higher risk for the development of tooth decay and cavities. At Smiles Cosmetic Dentistry by Dr. Shrenna Clifton, we can help with fluoride treatment.
The Importance of Fluoride for Your Teeth
Plaque and oral bacteria, while naturally occurring, are quite harmful. When they are left to build up in your mouth, the acids they produce begin to eat away at the protective outer layer of your teeth. Erosion can lead to the formation of cavities, or small pits, in the enamel. Cavities provide ideal hiding places for bacteria, and they continue to destroy the structure of your teeth. The cavities grow larger, and can even enter into the inner layer of your teeth where bacteria can take up residence and cause a painful infection. Replacing lost fluoride is essential for remineralizing your teeth, making them strong and more resistant to decay. In remineralizing your teeth, you are better able to prevent tooth decay and cavities. In many cases, fluoride can even reverse the earliest stages of tooth decay, restoring the health of your teeth.
What Increases My Risk for Tooth Decay?
There are numerous factors that contribute to a greater risk of developing tooth decay and cavities:
How Is Fluoride Treatment Done?
Fluoride treatment is quick and completely painless. While they are normally done following the completion of your regular dental cleanings, they can be done at any time. After the teeth have been cleaned, a fluoride gel is applied to the surfaces of your teeth. This only takes a few moments. The gel is left on the teeth, allowing the fluoride to absorb directly into the enamel. It is advised that you avoid eating or drinking anything for at least 30 minutes after treatment to ensure the best results.
Can Anyone Get Fluoride Treatments?
Fluoride treatments are often associated with children, who are naturally more prone to cavities than adults. However, children are not the only ones who can benefit from fluoride. These treatments can help anyone of any age prevent the harmful effects of acid erosion, allowing them to more easily keep their teeth strong and healthy.
Getting enough fluoride for your teeth is essential for aiding in the prevention of tooth decay and the formation of cavities. If you are interested in learning more about fluoride treatments, and finding out if they are right for you, call Smiles Cosmetic Dentistry by Dr. Shrenna Clifton today at (470) 400-2001.
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