Your teeth are made up of three main parts: the enamel, the dentin, and the pulp. The enamel, which is the most durable and hardest material in your body, serves a very serious purpose. It acts as a protective barrier for the softer dentin and the nerves and blood vessels that make up the pulp. If the enamel becomes compromised, bacteria can penetrate it and start to attack the inner portions of your teeth. Keeping your enamel solid, therefore, is extremely important.
Things like bacteria, diet, and lifestyle can start to take their toll on your dental enamel, but you can restore it with fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral that can help keep it strong. If we here at Summercrest Dental suspect that your dental enamel is at risk, we may advise a fluoride treatment to help bolster it and keep it strong.
What Does a Fluoride Treatment Do?
There are many ways you can help prevent tooth decay from occurring. One way to do this is by maintaining a good oral hygiene regimen at home and making sure you schedule regular dental exams with us. Good oral hygiene starts not only with making sure you brush and floss your teeth to remove all plaque and buildup from them, but it also has many lifestyle considerations. For instance, you do need to follow a healthy diet and make sure you do not smoke or use tobacco products.
Despite taking good care of your teeth, though, some of our patients do develop soft spots. For instance, certain demographics are more vulnerable to tooth decay, such as those who suffer from dry mouth or have a poor diet. If you do start to develop soft spots on your enamel, these spots can be hardened and strengthened through the aid of fluoride.
You can find fluoride in many kinds of toothpaste and mouthwashes and even in your drinking water, but we can offer a special procedure known as a fluoride treatment also to help keep your teeth healthy and strong. This mineral can redeposit minerals to your teeth and prevent openings in your enamel. It is important to know, however, that this procedure is preventative and does not treat existing, active tooth decay.
What Happens During Your Treatment
During your fluoride treatment, we will bathe your teeth in a special fluoride solution. This may be in the form of a rinse, a gel, foam, varnish, or a paste. We will thoroughly apply it to your teeth, then let it sit in place for several minutes to take effect. Afterward, we will recommend that you do not do anything that can negatively affect the treatment and make it less effective. You will be advised to abstain from eating, drinking, or even rinsing your mouth out to avoid accidentally removing any of the fluoride treatment.
Fluoride treatments are entirely safe when performed under the care and supervision of our skilled dental professionals. Depending on your level of risk of developing tooth decay, we may advise that you return to your office as frequently as three to six months for an additional fluoride treatment. To learn more about fluoride treatments and how they can benefit you, please give us a call today at Summercrest Dental (503) 649-7701!