Tooth decay is caused by acid that is formed when bacteria in your mouth are allowed to linger to long on the surface of your tooth. The plaque is a sticky, clear film.
Without good daily oral hygiene and regular dental visits, teeth become more vulnerable to decay and sensitivity. Brushing multiple times per day and using floss or other interdental cleaner will remove the plaque.
Regular dental examinations and cleanings are also important for keeping teeth healthy. Another key to good oral health is fluoride, a mineral that helps prevent tooth decay and can help to repair and strengthen teeth.
You can get fluoride in 2 ways, topical or systemic flourides.
Topical Flourides –
This is applied directly to your teeth. This includes toothpastes and mouth rinses, as well as fluoride treatments in the dental office.
Fluoride that is swallowed. This includes fluoridated water and dietary fluoride supplements. The maximum reduction in dental caries is achieved when fluoride is available both topically and systemically. At the dental office you can receive this treatment for children and adults. If you are prone to cavities this can be an added defense to prevent trouble from arising.
Factors that may increase the risk are as follows:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Active cavities
- Eating disorders
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Lack of regular professional dental care
- Active orthodontic treatment combined with poor oral hygiene
- High levels of caries-causing bacteria in the mouth
- Exposed root surfaces
- Decreased salivary flow, resulting in dry mouth
- Poor diet
- Existing fillings
- Tooth enamel defects, or
- Head and/or neck radiation treatments
PROFFESIONAL FLOURIDE TREATMENT
If you or a family member is at a moderate to high risk of developing cavities, a professional fluoride treatment can help. The fluoride preparation used in the dental office is much stronger in concentration than is available over the counter.
Professional flouride treatments generally take just a few minutes and may be in the form of a solution, gel, foam or varnish.
After the treatment, you may not eat or drink for 30 minutes, which allows for the maximum amount of flouride absorption into your teeth. Eating or drinking sooner will reduce the effect of the fluoride.
Depending on your oral health status, fluoride treatments may be recommended every three, six or 12 months. We may recommend other preventive measures if you are at a moderate or high risk of developing decay. We will discuss this more with you at the office.
To learn more or to schedule your professional flouride treatment, contact our office at (513) 896-1573.