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At Aurora Dental Care, we provide some preventive services for all our patients, especially children. Preventive treatment is one of the most important things you can do for your child’s oral health. During a regular checkup, we will perform a comprehensive exam, professional cleaning, and if necessary, a fluoride treatment. Fluoride treatment has proven to be an instrumental tool in the fight against tooth decay.
What is Fluoride?
The internet is flooded with misinformation about fluoride. Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that is found in many foods and water. In dentistry, we use fluoride to make teeth more resistant to the harmful bacteria in the mouth. Fluoride treatment is safe and effective.
Why is Fluoride Necessary?
Every day, our teeth undergo two processes that strengthen and weaken or enamel layer. Demineralization occurs when minerals are lost from the enamel. This happens when the bacteria in plaque feed on the sugars in the mouth. During the feeding process, the bacteria produce acids that attack the enamel, resulting in demineralization. Remineralization occurs when minerals such as calcium, phosphate, and fluoride are redeposited to the enamel from the foods and liquids we consume. More often than not, the rate of demineralization occurs faster than that of remineralization. This discrepancy is the main cause of tooth decay.
Fluoride strengthens the teeth by supplementing the process of remineralization. This helps prevent tooth decay as well as disrupt the acid production of harmful bacteria. In some cases, fluoride treatment can even reverse minor instances of decay.
Fluoride should be incorporated into your child’s dental care as earlier as infancy. Fluoride treatment is also instrumental in the development of their permanent teeth. Studies have shown that children who receive fluoride treatment have a lower risk of developing cavities in their permanent teeth.
We also provide fluoride treatments for adults. If you are at increased risk for tooth decay, we may recommend fluoride supplements. This is known as systemic fluoride and strengthens the teeth from within. Systemic fluoride makes it harder for acids to destroy the enamel. Most supplements are taken in small amounts. Be sure to consult with us if you have any questions or concerns.
Patients of all ages should be using a fluoride toothpaste. If you have a small child, be sure they spit it out as much as possible.
Fluoride Treatment at Our Office
The fluoride treatments you can receive at our dental office have a much higher concentration than store bought products. Fluoride can be applied to a gel, foam, or varnish form. Gels and foams are applied with the use of a tray that resembles a mouth guard. The tray is left in the mouth for one to four minutes. Fluoride varnish is painted directly onto the teeth. With varnish, we can target specific areas that may be more prone to decay. During the appointment, Dr. Methven will determine which fluoride treatment is appropriate. After treatment, be sure to avoid eating, drinking, or smoking for at least 30 minutes. This ensures the fluoride is most effective.
Schedule an Appointment
If you are interested in fluoride treatment for you or your child, call 907-376-8400 to schedule your appointment.