Fluoride Treatments in the Dental Office

Dental caries or tooth decay is caused by acid-producing bacteria that cause a clear sticky film called plaque that collects around the teeth and gums. Teeth are vulnerable to tooth decay without good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. Fluoride is a mineral that helps prevent tooth decay in both children and adults.

Topical and Systemic Fluorides

Topical fluorides are those that are applied directly to the teeth. Examples include fluoride tooth paste and mouth rinses, as well as fluoride treatments in a dental office. Systemic fluorides are those that are swallowed, such as fluoridated water and dietary fluoride supplements. The use of both topical and systemic fluoride provides the best reduction of dental caries. The use of in-office fluoride treatments helps protect the oral health of children and adults, especially those who might be at higher risk of developing dental caries

Factors That May Increase Risk of Developing Dental Caries

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Active dental caries
  • Eating disorders
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Active orthodontic treatment combined with poor oral hygiene
  • High levels of bacteria in the mouth that cause caries
  • Exposed root surfaces of teeth
  • Decreased salivary flow in mouth
  • Poor diet
  • Existing dental fillings
  • Tooth enamel defects
  • Radiation therapy to the head and neck

Professional Fluoride Treatments

If you or a family member is at a higher risk of developing dental caries, than professional fluoride treatments can help. Fluoride applied in the dental office is stronger than that which is available in tooth paste or fluoride rinses. Here are some facts about fluoride treatments:

  • Takes just a few minutes
  • They are in form of a solution, gel, foam or varnish
  • Applied either with a cotton swab or brush, used as a rinse or placed in a tray that is held in mouth for several minutes
  • After treatment you are not to eat or drink for 30 minutes so teeth can absorb the fluoride
  • Depending on oral health it may be recommended every three, six or twelve months
  • Other preventative measures may be recommended by your dentist if you are at moderate or high risk of developing dental caries.

Dental fluoride treatments provide extra protection for your teeth. It is important to use good oral hygiene and see a dentist regularly to keep your teeth healthy.  Please call us at Dater Dentistry to schedule your dental appointment so we can help determine the best course of treatment to keep your mouth and teeth bright and shining beautifully.

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