We have all heard that fluoride treatments are important for maintaining the health of your teeth, but fluoride is something that few people think about. Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that acts to remineralize your dental enamel, making it strong and resistant to acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth.
Dentists usually provide fluoride treatments at regular checkups as soon as the child reaches the age of six. Most adults get enough fluoride from their toothpaste and mouthwash; however, some adults with certain risk factors should continue to undergo fluoride treatments as well.
The dentist applies fluoride to the teeth in the form of a paste, a gel that is applied in a tray that you bite down on, or painted onto the teeth as a varnish. You wear the tray containing the fluoride or the varnish for a prescribed time before you are allowed to rinse.
Risk Factors That May Necessitate Fluoride Treatments
Not everyone needs additional fluoride treatments. However, certain risk factors may make fluoride treatments a good idea.
- Dry mouth. Some conditions or medications cause patients to have an abnormally dry mouth. The lack of saliva makes it more difficult to wash away food particles or the acids produced by bacteria. This puts the patient more at risk for tooth decay.
- Gum disease. Patients suffering from gum disease that has caused the gums to recede may have tooth roots that have become exposed, leaving them vulnerable to harmful bacteria and acids that can cause tooth decay.
- Previous or frequent cavities. Patients who have a history of cavities may need fluoride treatments to protect their vulnerable teeth.
- Crowns, bridges, braces, or other dental appliances. Bacteria and acids can accumulate where the dental device meets the tooth, putting the tooth at risk for tooth decay.
- Lack of regular dental care. Patients who have not regularly seen a dentist may be more at risk for tooth decay.
Do I Need Additional Fluoride Treatments?
If you fall into one of the risk categories, you may need additional fluoride treatments to strengthen your teeth and prevent future cavities. Consult your dentist to find out if you could benefit from fluoride treatments.
If you live in the Bolivar, Missouri area, feel free to call our office at (417) 777-8654 with any questions or concerns you may have about additional fluoride treatments. Unfortunately, the Bolivar public water supply no longer contains fluoride. We are greatly concerned for the dental health of our community.
Bolivar Family Dental also proudly serves the dental needs of the communities of Springfield, Buffalo, Halfway, Pleasant Hope, Stockton, Fair Play, Morrisville, Eldorado Springs and Wheatland.
Click the Schedule An Appointment button above to schedule fluoride treatments for your family.