Fluoride is a mineral that is found naturally in a number of foods and in water. The enamel of our teeth gains and loses minerals every day. Minerals are lost mostly due to the attack of acid produced from plaque, sugar and bacteria in the mouth on the enamel. Fluoride enables remineralization of the tooth enamel and prevents and repairs tooth decay. It does so by increasing the enamel’s resistance to acid attacks and by reversing very early signs of decay.
Fluoride helps speed remineralization as well as disrupts acid production in already erupted teeth of both children and adults. It is extremely vital for infants and children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years to be exposed to fluoride. In children under 6 years of age, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth. This is the timeframe during which the permanent teeth come in.
Apart from water and food, fluoride can be supplied in the form of topical treatments such as toothpastes and mouth rinses as well as in the form of tablets. For professional strength fluoride applications, our office provides fluoride varnish treatment to protect your teeth against decay.
A topical fluoride treatment is applied at our office post the completion of a professional dental cleaning. The treatment comprises of the application of a fluoride gel or foam which is placed in mouth shaped trays which can be worn over the teeth and allowed to stay for a few minutes. After the trays have been removed, it is advisable not to eat, drink or rinse the mouth for at least 30 minutes to allow for maximum absorption.
For more information about fluoride treatments and their benefits, please feel free to contact our office for a consultation. Call us at (940) 566-1066.