Do you know what makes our teeth and bones strong? It’s minerals like Calcium and Phosphate! Under healthy conditions, your body maintains a balance between the amount of minerals entering (remineralization) and coming out of your teeth (demineralization).
In cases when the intra-oral environment becomes acidic, there is a net loss of minerals from the teeth, making them weak and vulnerable to the development of teeth cavities and sensitivity. When the tooth structure or enamel becomes damaged, you’ll need to see one of our dentists so that we can determine how to best repair it.
At ABC Dental, we recommend that our patients take preventative steps to protect and preserve their teeth from damage or decay.
Fluoride treatment is a powerful preventative treatment that has been found to prevent and delay cavities from forming in the first place.
The Power of Fluoride
Fluoride is a natural mineral found in water and common foods that we eat. According to the American Dental Association, fluoride, which is also termed as nature’s cavity fighter, has the potential to prevent, and even reverse the damage caused by cavities in children and adults. Fluoride treatment is beneficial for people who are at a higher risk of developing cavities, such as those who experience:
- Dry mouth
- Congenital enamel anomalies
- Hereditary predisposition to the development of teeth cavities
- Underlying gum disease
- Existing restorations (crowns, bridges) on the teeth
Fluoride treatment can be performed in two main ways:
1. Topical Fluoride Treatment
At ABC Dental, we use topical fluoride products in the form of gels and varnishes. Topical fluoride prevents demineralization and cavities in teeth that have already erupted. The fluoride penetrates beneath the tooth surface, combines with the Calcium and Phosphate, and as a result, makes the teeth much more resistant to acid and bacteria. In some cases, our dentists may also recommend topical fluoride products for home use, such as toothpaste and mouth rinses.
2. Systemic Fluoride
Systemic fluoride treatment is suitable for teeth that have not yet erupted. In US, fluoride is added to the water supply in an effort to prevent cavities and tooth decay on a larger scale. Research has shown that water fluoridation prevents teeth cavities in children and adults by 25%.
Systemic fluoride is also available in the form of supplements, tablets, and drops. If you have any questions or concerns that your child may be at high risk for tooth decay, please discuss fluoride supplements with one of our dentists. We can answer any concerns and if necessary prescribe a fluoride supplement.
At each checkup appointment, on of our top Chicago dentists will assess your oral health status and recommend fluoride treatment if needed. The frequency of fluoride application depends on the risk of caries development. Generally, fluoride application once or twice a year is enough for individuals with a low caries risk. However, more frequent visits may be required for people who are at a higher risk of developing teeth cavities.
Excess of everything is bad. While fluoride can be a powerful cavity preventing treatment, excess intake of fluoride during the years of tooth development can result in mottling and discoloration, a condition known as fluorosis. Therefore, we will first estimate your daily fluoride intake from dietary sources and provide additional fluoride treatment only if you need it. Remember, fluoride treatment is not a substitute for regular oral hygiene measures such as brushing and flossing.
Say goodbye to teeth cavities with the power of fluoride!