Fluoride is a mineral that is beneficial for dental health when it is topically applied to teeth. It strengthens and protects the enamel from tooth decay by making teeth less susceptible to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars.
In the past, fluoride was generally used for infants and children ages 6 months and 16 years old to protect new teeth coming in and the development of permanent teeth. But new research shows, fluoride benefits people of all ages in preventing tooth decay. Topical fluoride is available in many tooth pastes and mouth rinses on the market today. It is also available at professional dental offices, like Gendler Dental Center, with a much higher level of fluoride. It can be applied in the form of gels, foams or varnishes every 6 months or at the time of routine cleaning appointments.
Once the fluoride is applied, it is quickly absorbed by teeth and stays in the mouth for some time. It is recommended not to eat or drink for 30 minutes following the application.
Fluoride works by restoring minerals to tooth surfaces where bacteria may have eroded, or damaged, the enamel. Fluoride can also inhibit the growth of harmful oral bacteria and further prevent cavities. Fluoride cannot remove decay but it can help stop the decay from penetrating into the deeper parts of teeth, by creating a protective stronger outer layer.
Fluoride benefits both children and adults. The earlier children are exposed to fluoride, the less likely they are to develop cavities. A large study found that children and adolescents who received fluoride treatments for one year were 43 percent less likely to have tooth decay and cavities.
You can receive topical fluoride treatments at the Gendler Dental Center if you are more prone to dental decay or have a history of dental decay. Fluoride offers that extra protection in fighting cavities but should not be the only practice in your dental hygiene. Fluoride treatments combined with regular brushing and flossing, are all important practices in keeping teeth healthy for a long time. Gendler Dental Center providers can provide professional fluoride treatments in the form of a highly concentrated foam, gel, or varnish. The treatment may be applied with a swab, brush, or tray.
Hopkins dentist professionals at Gendler Dental Center can provide all patients a fluoride treatment at the time of their routine cleanings. Since fluoride works by strengthening enamel some patients with extra tooth sensitivity, or those undergoing whitening treatments, may find that additional fluoride treatments can help relieve symptoms. If you feel you may need additional fluoride treatments due to being at a higher risk for cavities, increased tooth sensitivity, including from professional or in-home whitening treatments you can schedule them by calling or texting Gendler Dental Center at (952) 836-1113