Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in some of the foods we eat. It can also be found in some city water systems, oral hygiene products, and even in nutritional supplements. While fluoride plays several roles in a person’s health, it is perhaps most widely noted for its use in dental care as one of the most popular preventive dentistry treatments available.
7 Benefits of Fluoride Treatment
1. Remineralization of Tooth Enamel
Everyone exposes their teeth to acid on a daily basis. There are acids in many of the foods we eat and beverages we drink. Additionally, the bacteria inside our mouths produce acid as a waste product when they feed on the sugars in our foods and drinks.
When the acid comes into contact with the protective, outermost layer of the teeth (the tooth enamel), it breaks down the minerals, like fluoride and calcium, that make up the tooth enamel. When this happens, the tooth enamel can become weakened and softened in the earliest stages of tooth decay, putting your teeth at risk of more serious oral health problems like cavities and infections.
Fluoride treatments deliver fluoride minerals directly to your tooth enamel, helping to replace the minerals lost to acid deterioration, restoring the enamel, reversing early signs of tooth decay, and protecting the teeth from further decay.
2. Prevents Cavities
Thanks to the remineralizing magic of fluoride treatments, receiving regular fluoride treatments in addition to using dental care products that contain fluoride can help you prevent early stages of tooth decay from progressing into cavities (also called dental caries).
Cavities are small holes that develop in the surface of the teeth when soft spots on the enamel are left unaddressed and tooth decay is allowed to progress unchecked. While cavities can be treated with dental fillings, untreated cavities can grow larger, weaken the overall structure of a tooth, and eventually completely compromise the tooth’s health leading to the need for a root canal or a tooth extraction.
3. Reduces Dental Care Costs Overall
Preventive dentistry services, like fluoride treatments, reduce the overall cost of dental care for patients because they help to prevent more serious oral health problems from developing. Serious oral health issues can be much more costly to address and repair because they require more extensive treatment.
4. Prevents Sensitive Teeth
When tooth enamel breaks down as a result of tooth decay or the normal aging process, the layer of the teeth just below the enamel, called the dentin, can be left exposed. Additionally, dentin can be exposed as a result of receding gums (and gums can recede for a whole of different reasons).
Dentin is highly porous, and when it is not adequately shielded by tooth enamel, it exposes the nerves of the teeth to things like hot and cold, temperature changes, pressure changes, and even sugar. As a result, exposed dentin can cause extreme tooth sensitivity.
Thankfully, professional fluoride treatments not only repair, remineralize, and strengthen the tooth enamel, but they can also help to seal porous layers of exposed dentin where a patient’s gums have receded. Fluoride treatments are a highly effective and incredibly simple method for addressing tooth sensitivity in just about any patient.
5. Keeps Your Smile Looking Great
Fluoride treatments both protect your smile from oral health problems that can harm both your health and the appearance of your teeth. It also helps prevent teeth from staining by filling in the small grooves and tubes that form in a person’s tooth enamel. So, fluoride treatments can keep your smile both healthy and bright for life.
6. Non-Invasive and Pain-Free
Fluoride treatments are both non-invasive and pain-free, which makes them a great preventive treatment for anyone. Additionally, professional fluoride treatments can be administered in a variety of forms such as gel with trays, foam, or sticky varnish that provides a deep application by sticking to the surface of the teeth for most of a day.
7. No Need to Schedule a Separate Appointment
Fluoride treatments are also quick and easy to administer, so patients can enjoy the benefits of receiving a fluoride treatment without the cost or inconvenience of scheduling a separate appointment. Our team can administer your fluoride treatment immediately after your dental cleaning and examination.
Fluoride Treatments, Sealants, and Other Preventive Dental Care Services at Dentistry of West Bend
The best strategy in dental care is always prevention, and, at Dentistry of West Bend, we place a strong emphasis on preventive dental care designed to prevent oral health problems from occurring in the first place. To learn more about fluoride treatments and the different fluoride options available to you or to find out if another preventive dentistry treatment, like sealants, might be right for you, we welcome you to schedule a dental exam with Dr. Jared Harding today.