You probably heard about a certain natural mineral called fluoride before, right? It is the 13th most common element found in the Earth’s crust, existing in rocks, soil, water, and other foods or drinks. Most commonly found at surface levels, it’s so abundant in fact, that some places on Earth have too much fluoride in their drinking while others contain none. Fluoride helps build stronger teeth and prevent cavities.
Every day, the outer protective layer of our teeth known as enamel adds and loses minerals via two processes: Demineralization and Remineralization. First, acids from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth attack your teeth, causing the enamel to lose minerals (demineralization). Then, when we eat or drink something and minerals like fluoride, phosphate, or calcium are redeposited to the enamel, that’s remineralization. You don’t want too much demineralization, however, because too little remineralization won’t heal the enamel and can lead to tooth decay.
In addition to combating the bacteria threatening your teeth and gums, fluoride repairs the teeth and enamel on a microscopic level. It can even halt the advance of tooth decay and diseases in their early stages. Having become a necessity in oral health for decades, we here at Raptou Family Dental always recommend brushing with a fluoride-containing toothpaste for your best chance at keeping your smile in beautiful, healthy shape. For any questions about fluoride treatments or how you can set up an appointment, please call (614) 427-0449.
Types of Fluoride
Fluoride can be found in several food, drinks, water, and toothpaste. You can also use mouth rinses with lower levels of it, which are available at most over-the-counter stores, but you’ll need a doctor’s prescription for higher concentrations of strength.
How Much Fluoride Do You Need?
The American Dental Association (ADA) generally recommends a professional fluoride treatment between every three, six, or twelve months, depending on your current dental health. If you’re not practicing good oral habits, however, Dr. Raptou might also prescribe you special fluoride mouth rinse for daily use at home.
When Is It Necessary to Get Fluoride?
Kids are normally first exposed to fluoride between 6 months to 16 years of age, during the years when your adult teeth begin erupting to replace the temporary teeth. Adults can benefit from it just as much though, as fighting tooth decay is a lifetime commitment.
Professional Treatment Options
Our office offers a variety of choices for you. Dr. Raptou may apply fluoride to you or your child’s teeth in a gel, foam, or varnish form (These have higher levels of fluoride than mouth rinses or toothpaste). You can have a foam guard is placed in your mouth, a varnish painted onto the teeth, or a gel applied through either method. Alternatively, fluoride supplements in liquid or tablet form can be provided, but you’ll require a prescription. We’ll also need your full medical history to determine the best method for your case.
If you wish to schedule an appointment and discuss options for you or your child to get a professional fluoride treatment, please remember to call us today at (614) 427-0449.