At Wayzata Dental, we want to ensure your smile will last. Understanding the properties and proper utilization of fluoride treatment can help you keep your teeth strong and prevent tooth decay. If you are suffering from expedited tooth decay, Wayzata Dental can help you find the best solution.
Understanding the properties and proper utilization of fluoride treatment can help you keep your teeth strong and prevent tooth decay. If you are suffering from expedited tooth decay, Wayzata Dental can help you find the best solution.
The outside layer of your teeth (known as enamel) is made up of mineral crystals that are packed closely together. During any given day, these minerals are both lost and gained. This process is known as remineralization and demineralization.
Demineralization starts with the bacteria in the plaque on your teeth. This bacteria feeds on the sugars in your mouth, which produce acids. These acids then dissolve the crystals in the tooth enamel and are then balanced out again by the remineralization process where minerals in the saliva are brought back into the enamel of the tooth.
When too many minerals are lost without replacement, it leads to tooth decay. Fluoride prevents tooth decay by slowing the breaking down of enamel and boosting the remineralization process. These new crystals are stronger and more resistant to acid. When children eat or drink fluoride in safe doses, it enters their bloodstream and becomes part of their permanent teeth that are growing in. Fluoride coming from foods, supplements, and water enters the bloodstream through your stomach and is absorbed into the body.
People also apply fluoride directly onto the surface of their teeth by using fluoride toothpaste or mouth rinse. Both children and adults can also have fluoride treatments done by their dentist, which is strong enough to disrupt the production of acids by bacteria.
Some of the most common fluoride products are toothpaste, mouth rinses, fluoride water, and professionally done fluoride treatments. Professionally done fluoride treatments are done in a dental office and applied as gel foam or varnish.
The fluoride used in these professional treatments has a higher strength than the ones you get over the counter like prescription toothpaste and mouth rinses. Although all these treatments are in your mouth for a short period, the fluoride levels remain high several hours later.
Children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years old that do not get enough fluoride in their water should supplement with fluoride. Fluoride supplements come in both liquid and tablet form and are prescribed by both pediatricians and dentists. Children with cavities or are dealing with high levels of tooth decay should also look into fluoride supplements.
Fluoride is an inorganic form of the chemical element fluorine. It has been used in various medicines as well as in drinking water, mouthwash, and toothpaste. The latter three include fluoride as a means to protect teeth from the bacteria in plaque. Dr. McDowell may recommend a toothpaste with an elevated fluoride level, regular use of mouthwash, and/or a fluoride treatment (putting fluoride directly on your teeth) to counteract cavities.
In water and daily dental product use, fluoride is not dangerous. Additional fluoride may be applied as recommended (up to 20mg for an adult). Higher doses without medical supervision can be dangerous, producing side effects such as muscle or bone weakness and nervous system problems. In addition, high doses of fluoride in children (before their permanent teeth come through the gums) can cause tooth discoloration.
Wayzata Dental can help you catch the early stages of a cavity before a tooth requires a filling or other dental treatment, and we can do it all without the use of x-rays. A new handheld technology called CariVu™ is more accurate than a typical x-ray. Wayzata Dental is the first dental practice in Minnesota to offer this transillumination technology to identify cracks, lesions, or any other issue that might otherwise be missed.
When Dr. McDowell identifies these issues early, you can adopt new daily habits like fluoride treatments that will prevent further damage and decay. In this manner, Wayzata Dental extends service far beyond our doors to ensure your long-term dental health.