Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that can strengthen the teeth and stop tooth decay. Dental specialists have been using fluoride for dental treatments for years.
Fluoride treatments can be highly beneficial for people at risk of dental cavities. It usually involves applying a gel on the tooth’s surface. At Chicago Dental Esthetics, our dental team will develop a treatment plan after a thorough diagnostic evaluation.
Are You at Risk for Cavities?
Dental cavities develop when plaque accumulates on your teeth and gums. Cavity-causing microbes consume the plaque and release acids that deteriorate the enamel. Your teeth weaken, becoming more susceptible to cavities.
Excessive consumption of alcohol, smoking, and sugar-rich foods increases your risk of tooth decay. Poor dental hygiene and diet can also affect the enamel and speed up tooth decay. You may be at risk of tooth decay if you have an eating disorder, decreased saliva production, dry mouth, or poor dental care.
How Does Fluoride Protect the Teeth?
Fluoride protects the teeth by strengthening the enamel, the tooth’s outermost layer. It is often used in dental hygiene products like toothpaste and mouthwash.
Using fluoride helps to facilitate the process of enamel remineralization. Remineralization is a process where the body replaces chemical elements like phosphate, calcium, and fluoride. It strengthens the tooth’s enamel, allowing it to resist acid erosion.
Fluoride can also stop and reverse the early stages of tooth decay. Nonetheless, it cannot single-handedly prevent cavities. Habits like brushing and flossing regularly will complement the benefits of the treatment for your oral health.
Are Fluoride Treatments for Kids?
A fluoride treatment involves applying a gel on the tooth’s surface. It is done twice a year, depending on your initial oral health assessment. There is a common misconception that fluoride treatment is only for kids. Fluoride treatment is most crucial from six month old infants to 16-year-old teens.
At that age, permanent teeth are still emerging, and the minerals are essential for resisting deterioration. Children and teens are fond of sugar-rich snacks and drinks. The lack of fluoride in the body may weaken the teeth when they are still vulnerable to cavities.
However, adults can still get dental fluoride treatments if they are at high risk of cavities. Smoking, drinking, and eating disorders are some of the factors that could weaken the tooth’s enamel.
Conditions like teeth grinding can also cause enamel deterioration. Our dentist may propose fluoride treatments alongside a mouth guard to reduce the risk of cavities. The fluoride gel can be applied on both adult and children's teeth. The dosage will vary according to the patient’s age and oral health requirements.
What to Expect From a Fluoride Treatment Procedure
Our dental team starts by evaluating your medical history and the condition of your teeth. The dental hygienist will apply a gel on your teeth containing fluoride. The gel has a higher concentration of fluoride than water.
The process takes a few minutes to complete. Our dental team may ask you to avoid eating or drinking for half an hour after the procedure.
Call (224) 341-5162 to schedule an appointment with Chicago Dental Esthetics and experience first-rate dental care.