Importance of fluoride treatment to you and your child’s teeth
Your tooth is made up of three structures: the enamel, the dentin and the pulp. The enamel is the hardest, outer part of the tooth. The dentin is the layer beneath the enamel while the pulp is the inner tooth structure that contains the nerves and blood vessels. Among these three, the enamel serves as the first line of defense against cavities. In order to strengthen the enamel and help it become resistant to acid and plaque attacks, fluoride is very much needed.
You can find fluoride in fluoride-treated water sources, fluoride-rich tooth pastes and mouth rinses, however they are only present in small amounts. Fluoride treatments offered in dental clinics are more concentrated thus providing more protection to you and your child’s teeth from tooth decay. Fluoride treatment may come in a variety of forms: varnish, foam or gel. Varnishes are much easier to apply because they are painted on the teeth after they are cleaned. Foams are a little fancy because they are placed into the mouth guard which is then applied to the teeth and let it stay for one to four minutes. Fluoride gels can be either painted directly to the teeth or placed into the mouth guard and applied to the teeth. You may also want to ask your dentist for fluoride supplements to strengthen your teeth from acid and plaque attacks.
Why fluoride treatment is important?
Fluoride treatment is important to prevent tooth decay from happening. Fluoride strengthens the tooth enamel from acid and plaque attacks caused by bacteria and food debris in the mouth. Exposure to fluoride should start when the first tooth erupts (6 months old) until the permanent teeth are completed. It helps in the development of stronger and healthier teeth. Not only children can benefit from fluoride treatment but adults as well. It can reverse early signs of tooth decay in adults even though applied topically. Also, there are studies which show that regular use of fluoride in adults can lower the chances of developing root decay among those with receding gums.
Moreover, there are conditions which put you at risk of developing tooth decay and would be very beneficial to undergo fluoride treatment. These conditions are:
- gum diseases
- history of frequent cavities
- use of dental appliances such as dental crowns, dental bridges and braces
- xerostomia or dry mouth
- radiation therapy to the neck or head
Contact your dentist if you are interested to undergo fluoride treatment or want to schedule your child for the treatment. This treatment is one of the many preventive dental care procedures available in the market.