Treatments in preventative dentistry help maintain optimal oral health, and can save you from requiring more extensive procedures in the future. Professional fluoride treatments are an excellent way to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities, and can be especially beneficial for patients with a high risk of developing tooth decay. Fortunately, Dr. Luminita Markham provides fluoride treatments at Maidu Dental. Our family-friendly practice offers preventative procedures to patients of all ages. By investing in your oral health now, you can enjoy a lifetime of benefits.
Simply stated, fluoride is a mineral. It is found throughout nature in air, soil, water, and various living organisms. In dentistry, fluoride is used to strengthen and reinforce the enamel of the teeth. When carbohydrates and sugary foods are consumed, plaque and bacteria accumulate on the teeth surfaces. If these contaminants are not removed through brushing and flossing, plaque becomes acidic, and begins to break down the enamel. Fluoride treatments help to remineralize your enamel and protect your teeth from cavity-causing bacteria.
Tooth Decay and Your Oral Health
Cavities occur as a result of the oral bacteria in plaque and tartar. Once tooth decay begins, it can spread, compromising your oral health. If left untreated, cavities can lead to infection, abscesses, or even tooth loss. Certain lifestyle habits or genetic factors can increase your risk of developing tooth decay. These can include:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Poor diet or nutrition
- Skipping routine dental appointments
- Drug or alcohol use
- Dry mouth
- High levels of oral bacteria
- Exposed root surfaces
- Enamel defects
- Cancer treatment, such as radiation therapy
Benefits of Professional Fluoride Treatment
Several over-the-counter or store-bought products contain fluoride, such as mouth rinses and toothpastes. These are certainly useful in maintaining optimal oral health. However, it is important to note that professional treatments contain a higher concentration of fluoride. These safe and effective treatments can strengthen your enamel, prevent cavities, and reinforce the entire tooth structure.
Who is a Candidate for Fluoride Treatment?
It was previously believed that fluoride was only beneficial for children, since their teeth are still in the developmental stages. However, modern research has indicated that topical fluoride treatments are an excellent preventative measure for patients of all ages.
At Maidu Dental, we offer fluoride treatments for children and adults, alike. If you already have cavities, it is important that we address those first. Once your existing tooth decay is treated, fluoride is an outstanding way to maintain your smile.
Receiving Fluoride Treatment
Fluoride treatment generally only takes a few minutes to complete. The fluoride can be administered in the form of a gel, foam, or varnish, and will be either applied directly to the teeth or placed in a tray. After about five minutes, your teeth will be thoroughly rinsed and dried. Generally, you will be asked to avoid food or beverages for approximately 30 minutes following your appointment.
Learn More about Preventative Dentistry
The American Dental Association has deemed fluoride safe and effective against cavities. In fact, all ADA-approved toothpastes contain fluoride. When used as part of your routine preventative care, fluoride is an excellent way to prevent decay and save yourself money and worry in the future. If you would like to learn more about fluoride treatments for you or someone in your family, schedule a consultation with Dr. Markham. You can call our Auburn, CA office at (530) 823-8771, or contact us online anytime.