Using Fluoride to Protect Your TeethFluoride: You brush your teeth twice a day, floss regularly and visit the dentist every six months, but did you know that rinsing with fluoride — a mineral that helps prevent cavities and tooth decay — also helps keep your teeth healthy and strong? If you’re a big soda drinker, your smile is in grave danger. With the crazy amounts of sugar and acidic substances in the beverages you drink, you tooth enamel weakens and it allows tooth decay to form. Even though cavities are one of the most common dental problems, they need to be avoided at all costs. So, to help you protect your smile from tooth decay, we recommend doing the following things: · Substitute soda with healthier drinks: Instead of soda, drink sugar-free drinks, milk, and 100 percent fruit juice throughout the day. Doing so will help you lessen your chances of ruining your smile. · Rinse your mouth with water: It’s important that you rinse your smile with water after you drink soda. Doing so will rinse your teeth and will eliminate some of the sugars and acids that cling to your smile. · Properly clean your smile: Oral hygiene is vital, especially if you are a soda drinker. Make sure you brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. We also recommend that you floss once a day as well as rinse your mouth with fluoride mouthwash daily. . Professional Fluoride : A fluoride treatment in your dentist’s office takes just a few minutes. After the treatment, patients may be asked not to rinse, eat, or drink for at least 30 minutes in order to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride. Depending on your oral health or your doctor’s recommendation, you may be required to have a fluoride treatment every three, six, or 12 months. Your doctor may also prescribe an at-home fluoride product such as a mouthwash, gel, or antibacterial rinse. It comes in Sytemic & topical form:
- Systemic fluoride is ingested, usually through a public water supply. While teeth are forming under the gums, the fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, making it stronger and more resistant to cavities.
- Fluoride can also be applied topically to help prevent caries (cavities) on teeth present in the mouth. It is delivered through toothpaste, mouthwash, and professional applications.
Am I a Good Candidate?Professional treatments benefit patients of all ages. Existing tooth decay is virtually the only factor that might preclude a patient from undergoing a fluoride treatment, but once the decay has been treated, it can help protect the tooth from future decay. The treatment can be especially beneficial for young children and teenagers. Due to the consumption of sugars or improper oral hygiene habits, children can be more susceptible to tooth decay and cavities. Fluoride can help strengthen developing teeth, setting the stage for a lifetime of oral health. The prevention of decay can save you money and time, and reduce the risk of needing extensive treatment in the future. In short, it is an excellent investment.
Who Should Have Professional Fluoride Treatments?Patients who are at risk of developing decay should seriously consider having it. Risk factors for decay include:
- Poor oral hygiene or lack of regular dental care
- Eating disorders
- Substance abuse
- Active orthodontic treatment combined with poor oral hygiene
- High levels of bacteria in the mouth
- Exposed roots
- Dry mouth caused by decreased salivary flow
- Poor diet
- Extensive fillings
- Tooth enamel defects
- Head and/or neck radiation therapy