October 15, 2016
Fluoride is a powerful mineral that is found in water sources, which is often referred to as “Nature’s Cavity Fighter.” Research shows the use of fluoride naturally reduces the development of cavities in people of all ages. Not to mention, fluoride also helps to repair the early stages of tooth decay to promote healthy smiles for everyone in the family. You often see dental products, such as mouthwashes and toothpastes, that contain fluoride. However, there is another, more effective means to benefit from the mineral. Your dentist in South Hadley, Dr. Douglas Leigh provides his patients with fluoride varnish treatments to protect against, and even help reverse, the demineralization of the teeth.
Why is Fluoride Important?
Every day, your body takes in fluoride, often through the water you drink as 43 of the 50 largest U.S. cities add fluoride to tap water. However, just as your body takes fluoride in, it also loses fluoride every day due to the foods and drinks you consume. As a result, the loss of fluoride causes the demineralization of your teeth as the acids found in plaque, bacteria, and sugars eat away at your enamel. To reduce the risk for cavity development, we apply a fluoride varnish to add fluoride back to the teeth to help ward off tooth decay.
When fluoride is applied to the teeth, it is absorbed through the enamel. This replaces the loss of calcium and phosphorous, allowing your enamel to stay hard as the mineral deposits add strength to your teeth. As a result, this also helps protect your teeth from the loss of additional minerals in the future, providing a safe and effective means to stop and prevent tooth decay.
Do I Need a Fluoride Treatment?
Most often, when you think of fluoride treatments from your dentist, you think about the treatments only being for young children. While fluoride treatments are quite common for children, adults can benefit from the treatments as well, especially in certain situations. Most adults receive adequate amounts of fluoride through the water and foods; however, there are certain conditions that increase an adult’s risk for fluoride loss, which includes:
- Conditions or medications that cause dry mouth
- Gum recession and gum disease
- History of frequent cavities
- Certain dental work, such as crowns, bridges, or braces
- Patients who eat large amounts of sugary foods
- Those who have deep pits and grooves in their teeth
Your Dentist for Fluoride Treatments
Nowadays, you have multiple options to add fluoride back to your teeth, such as through over-the-counter toothpastes and mouth rinses. However, the best option to produce the highest level of results involves applying a fluoride varnish to your teeth in-office. The varnishes contain a higher concentration of fluoride when compared to over-the-counter products. The fluoride treatment is simple and effective. In just a few minutes, through a noninvasive treatment, the fluoride varnish is applied to the teeth to begin warding off tooth decay.
If you suspect you may need a fluoride treatment or would like to discuss the benefits of the treatment, Dr. Leigh will answer your questions and concerns. Contact Newton Street Dental to schedule a consultation.
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