Should I Get a Fluoride Treatment at the Dentist?
Aren't sure if you should get a fluoride treatment at the dentist? Consider this.
Did you know that Grand Rapids was theto fluoridate its water?
During the 15-year study that followed, scientists noticed a 65% reduction in cavities. This discovery revolutionized dental care by making tooth decay a preventable disease.
Today, you can find fluoride in your tap water, toothpaste, and other products. But for extra protection, Dr. Nichols may recommend a fluoride treatment.
Here's what you need to know.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a natural compound found in soil, water, and even food. In fact, fluoride is the 13th most abundant element in the earth's crust.
Fluoride protects your teeth by strengthening the enamel. This makes your teeth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque. Fluoride can also reverse early tooth decay.
For those that don't know, plaque is an invisible film of bacteria that live inside your mouth. As it consumes carbohydrates from the foods you eat, it produces an acid that attacks the enamel and gums.
Since everyone has dental plaque, fluoride is helpful for both children and adults. Although children tend to be more vulnerable to tooth decay.
Most dental insurances will cover fluoride treatment up to age 14. That's why we recommend checking out your dental insurance coverage before your appointment.
How Does Fluoride Work?
Tooth enamel is the white outer layer of your teeth and it's stronger than bone. But once your enamel is gone, it's gone for good.
The good news is that fluoride helps to.
Enamel is made from calcium and phosphate. Your saliva also contains calcium and phosphate, which helps keep your teeth strong. But bacteria inside the mouth can disrupt this balance.
When we paint a fluoride varnish onto your teeth, the enamel absorbs it. Once inside the enamel, the fluoride bonds with the calcium and phosphate. This creates fluorapatite.
In other words: fluoride + calcium + phosphate = fluorapatite.
Fluorapatite is very resistant to the bacteria in plaque. As such, it strengthens your enamel and decreases your risk of cavities.
Is a Fluoride Treatment Enough to Prevent Cavities?
There are many health benefits to getting a fluoride treatment at the dentist. But you'll also need to practice good oral hygiene at home to maintain a healthy smile. To remove plaque, brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day.
We also recommend that you continue seeing our dentist for preventive care. This would include your teeth cleanings, oral examinations, and X-rays. That way, we're able to detect small oral health issues before they have the opportunity to worsen.
All these preventive measures will help you avoid cavities and smile with confidence.
Request an Appointment With Dr. Nichols
Dr. Nichols is an experienced family dentist in Grand Rapids, MI. As such, he'd be more than happy to help you maintain a healthy smile for life.