In dentistry, we focus on keeping teeth healthy by providing patients with exceptional preventive care. In addition to regular brushing, flossing, and dental exams, fluoride is one of the best defenses against tooth decay. Due to its beneficial effect on teeth, fluoride is a mineral that’s been supplemented in most water supplies in the U.S. for decades, and also occurs naturally in food and water.
How Does Fluoride Protect Teeth?
Your teeth and the enamel covering them are made of minerals, like calcium and fluoride. Teeth can lose these minerals and ‘demineralize’, which is the first step in creating a cavity. Through an ‘ion exchange’, fluoride can actually become part of the exterior of the tooth, strengthening the surface and making it more resistant to decay.
While eating a healthy diet that is rich with minerals can help strengthen your teeth, using products that contain fluoride, like toothpaste, can protect your teeth, too!
Topical Fluoride Application
Applied topically in fluoride gels, varnishes, mouth rinses, and toothpastes, fluoride minerals bind to and reinforce tooth enamel. Dentists used to believe that ingesting fluoride was the most beneficial way to protect teeth, but we now understand that a topical application (putting the fluoride directly on the tooth) provides more protection once teeth are developed. We recommend brushing with a toothpaste that contains fluoride, as well as getting regular professional fluoride treatments at Kenmore Smiles Family Dentistry.
Prescription Strength Fluoride Toothpaste
For some people, in-office fluoride treatments a few times a year is not enough. For these patients we carry an extra-fluoridated toothpaste that we recommend. When indicated, the nightly application of this toothpaste gel will provide year-round protection against decay.
Preventive Fluoride Treatments with Dr. Mott
There are a variety of reasons Dr. Mott will recommend a fluoride treatment. If you have a moderate or high risk of decay, dry mouth, sensitive teeth, or if you have recession of the gums, you will benefit from a fluoride treatment. The application of a fluoride varnish is safe, easy, and most importantly, effective!
To schedule your next checkup and fluoride treatment, contact Kenmore Smiles Family Dentistry today.