A mineral called fluoride occurs naturally in various foods and water. Your tooth’s enamel layer acquires and loses minerals every day to the process of demineralization and remineralization. Loss of minerals from the tooth’s enamel layer occurs when acids deposited by bacterial plaque and sugars in the mouth erode the tooth enamel by attacking it. Minerals like fluoride, phosphate, and calcium help remineralize the enamel layer from the foods and water you consume. However, too much demineralization without sufficient remineralization to restore the enamel layer causes tooth decay.
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth enamel more resistant to acid attacks from bacterial plaque and sugars in the mouth. In addition, fluoride helps reverse the early decline. Children under six years of age benefit from fluoride because it incorporates into the development of permanent teeth, making it challenging for the acids to demineralize them. Fluoride also disrupts acid production and helps speed remineralization in the teeth of children and adults.
As mentioned earlier, food and water are familiar sources of fluoride. You also receive topical fluoride from toothpaste and mouth rinses. Low concentration mouth rinses are available over-the-counter, but if you need the more robust variety, you require a prescription from a dentist in Worcester, MA.
Dentists also provide in-office fluoride varnish treatments besides fluoride in the form of gel and foam. For example, fluoride treatments in Worcester, MA, provided by dentists, contain higher concentrations of fluoride than is found in toothpaste and mouth rinse. Dentists paint fluoride varnish on the teeth, and the foam is put on a mouthguard applied to the teeth for approximately one to four minutes.
You can also find fluoride supplements as liquids and tablets, but you need a prescription from your dentist, your family doctor, or pediatrician.
It is incredibly beneficial for children between six and 16 to receive exposure to fluoride. The ages are when the primary and permanent teeth emerge. However, adults also benefit from fluoride. Research indicates topical fluoride from toothpaste, mouth rinses, and fluoride treatment from dentists are equally important in fighting tooth decay, just as fluoride is essential to strengthening developing teeth.
Furthermore, people with certain conditions and at a higher risk of tooth decay can benefit from additional fluoride treatments. The people include those suffering from dry mouth conditions, gum disease, history of frequent cavities, and the presence of dental crowns, bridges, or braces.
The risks associated with fluoride treatments for adults are negligible unless used in hazardous doses. Therefore it is essential for parents to carefully supervise children’s use of fluoride products and keep them out of reach, especially children below six.
Excessive fluoride can affect the tooth enamel to cause cosmetic defects like discoloration, especially in younger children. The flaws called fluorosis occur when the teeth form and are usually a condition that occurs with naturally occurring fluoride in water. Removing fluoride stains with brushing is challenging. However, dentists can lighten the discoloration with professional treatments like bleaching.
Reaching hazardous levels of fluoride is also challenging, given the low levels of this mineral found in home-based fluoride products. However, if you are concerned about the fluoride your child is receiving, discuss the situation with your child’s pediatric dentist or family doctor.
Professional fluoride treatments are recommended by the American Dental Association at your dentist’s office every three, six, and 12 months, depending on your overall health. If you are at high risk of tooth decay, your dentist in Worcester, MA might prescribe a unique fluoride rinse or gel to use at home.
Your risk of cavities can increase if you are an excessive drug or alcohol user, maintain poor oral hygiene professional dental care. The risk of cavities also increases if you have an eating disorder, weakened enamel, and exist on a poor diet.
Fluoride is a fundamental mineral that helps prevent cavities by restoring minerals to the tooth’s enamel and preventing harmful bacteria from accumulating in the mouth. However, overdosing on fluoride can cause adverse complications.
Oral health significantly impacts your overall health and other physical functions. You can take good care of your mouth by brushing twice a day for two minutes each fluoride toothpaste, flossing at least once, avoiding sugary snacks and beverages, smoking, and visiting your dentist in Worcester, MA at least once a year for exams and cleanings. However, fluoride treatments are immensely beneficial and effective in preventing harmful bacteria from accumulating in your mouth and preventing tooth decay.
If you want to benefit from the effectiveness of fluoride treatments, please visit Tatnuck Family Dental Care to receive in-office fluoride treatments to build stronger enamel and prevent cavities.