While some elements are man-made, fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral. Because it has been found to strengthen tooth enamel, it is added to many dental care products and tap water. In fact, your Jackson, MI dentist considers fluoride a mandatory treatment in promoting optimal oral health. This important mineral helps safeguard your teeth and gums against the harmful effects of mouth bacteria.
Fluoride treatments are routine preventive measures for children. However, adults who are prone to cavities may also benefit from the extra protection. Tooth decay and cavities develop when bacteria build up on teeth and below the gumline. As a result, plaque is produced. Left unremoved, it will eat away at your tooth enamel. Fortunately, fluoride re-mineralizes and strengthens weakened enamel.
Your dentist offers professional fluoride treatments in a variety of forms and delivery methods. The most common applications are foams, rinses, gels, and varnishes. While fluoridated toothpaste, tap water, and mouthwashes are very effective, some patients need more. For that reason, we offer a higher, more therapeutic concentration of the mineral at Summit Woods Family Dental Care. Treatments can be completed in a short time, during a routine visit.
Depending on your unique needs, you and your dentist will determine how often professional fluoride should be applied. Typically, treatments are scheduled every 6 to 12 months. In addition, if you are at a high-risk for cavities, a prescription fluoride product may be recommended. Genetics, bad diet, alcohol or drug abuse, and poor dental hygiene can make you more susceptible to cavities.
While fluoride is not a miracle cure, it can prevent or reverse the spread of decay. Fluoride also has a restorative value by helping minerals grow back on damaged tooth surfaces. That is why it is available in toothpaste, mouth rinses, tablets, supplements, and municipal water supplies. Along with schedule fluoride treatments, proper brushing, and flossing every day are effective ways to maintain good oral health. Also, avoid smoking and sugary foods and drinks to help keep your mouth in tip-top shape.