When plaque bacteria and sugars mix in your mouth and are allowed to sit on the surface of a tooth, they produce an acid-like byproduct that can erode the enamel layer causing a cavity. Fluoride is a mineral that bonds with the enamel layer of your teeth and make it much harder for these acid attacks and in some cases, fluoride can even reverse decay.
In children between the ages of 6 and 16, exposure to fluoride during dental checkups and toothpastes allows the fluoride to become incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making the tooth itself much more resistant to cavities. It is in this timeframe when fluoride is the most beneficial but that doesn't mean adults can't benefit from fluoride treatments. Adults will still benefit from the decay-fighting and tooth enamel-strengthening properties that fluoride has to offer.
Fluoride is a natural mineral that is found in foods and water. Fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses are two ways to apply fluoride to the enamel of your teeth. Many of these fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses are available at the supermarket over-the-counter.
At the dental office of Dr. Chris Nhan, we can offer a more concentrated toothpaste and mouth rinse that is not readily available at the supermarkets. We can also provide special fluoride treatments using a high-concentrate fluoride foam that is allowed to sit on your teeth for several minutes.
If you have been said to have "soft" teeth or know that decay is an active problem with your teeth or if you just want to be proactive with cavity prevention request an appointment online or call us at 916-965-7188 and come in for a fluoride treatment or ask about a special fluoride toothpaste or rinse that you can take home and use daily.
Fluoride does not take the role of good daily oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing remain the best methods to keep cavities away and to keep your gums healthy. Fluoride should only be used as an additional defense against plaque bacteria throughout the day.
It is also important to note that there are certain conditions such as existing gum disease, dry mouth, genetics, etc. that naturally affect the speed and efficiency of harmful plaque bacteria and the acid attacks they deliver to your teeth. In these situations, it is best to come in to our office and be properly evaluated. The high-strength fluoride treatments we can provide in-office might just be your best bet to help prevent and even turn the tides on tooth decay. Call us at 916-965-7188 or use our website to request an appointment and learn about what fluoride treatments are best for you and how fluoride can help your specific situation.
Fluoride is perfectly safe when used as directed by our dental office however there are some issues that can arise from using too much fluoride. Toxic levels of fluoride depend on person-to-person so it is important that you speak with us first before considering using a questionable amount of fluoride or if you have a child whose teeth are currently developing.
Fluorosis is a condition where exposure to too much fluoride causes defects in the tooth's enamel layer that often look like white patches or streaks across a tooth. In severe fluorosis cases, these patches or streaks can be brown in color making them a severe cosmetic concern and are often embarrassing for many people who have this condition. Fluorosis is most common in children with developing permanent teeth where fluoride levels are not properly applied and/or monitored but can become a problem to virtually anyone at any age.
If you think you have or have been told you have a mild to severe case of fluorosis, we want you to know that we can help lighten or remove the stains to teeth caused by excessive fluoride exposure. Request an appointment or call our office directly at 916-965-7188 to come in and have us take a look at your condition. In just one appointment we can significantly reduce the cosmetic blemishes of fluorosis.
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