It’s a natural, everyday occurrence; your body takes in fluoride and it loses it. Fluoride is absorbed through water intake and various foods that you eat. The way you lose fluoride is through demineralization of your teeth when acids caused by plaque, bacteria, and sugars in your mouth attack tooth enamel. You can “put fluoride back” (as well as calcium and phosphate) into your tooth’s enamel layer by eating healthy foods and drinking fluoridated water. Another way to get more fluoride is through fluoride treatments when you come in for cleanings with Barb, AmyKate or John at Walla Walla Dental Care. If you aren’t eating healthy foods and drinking water that contains fluoride you are going to lose it faster than it can be replaced naturally, which can put you at risk for tooth decay.
What does fluoride treatment do?
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by defending your teeth against acid attacks caused by the plaque, bacteria, and sugars in your mouth. Not only can fluoride prevent tooth decay, it can also reverse early signs tooth decay. For children under the age of 6, fluoride is part of the the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth. This is why your kids may have regular fluoride treatments in school.
But we now know that adults can also benefit from added fluoride. Fluoride disrupts acid production in the already erupted teeth of fully grown people.
In addition to fluoride in foods and water, fluoride can be directly applied to the teeth through fluoridated toothpastes and mouth rinses. Products containing fluoride in lower strengths over the counter at your local drug store. Stronger concentrations require a doctor’s prescription or you can get them done when you visit us here at Walla Walla Dental Care.
Risk of fluoride loss?
Some people have certain conditions that put them at increased risk of tooth decay, and so they will certainly benefit from additional fluoride treatments. Here are some examples:
1. Dry mouth conditions caused by diseases or medications.The lack of saliva makes it harder for food particles to be washed away and acids to be neutralized, putting your teeth at a greater risk of demineralization.
2. Patients who have deep pits and grooves in their teeth are more prone to dental decay.
3. Patients who are frequent snackers, eat sugary foods, or have a family history of cavities are at an increased risk of tooth decay.
4. Gum recession and gum disease can expose more of your tooth and tooth roots to bacteria increasing the chance of tooth decay.
5. History of frequent cavities. If you have one cavity every year or every other year, you may benefit from additional fluoride.
6. Dental work present in the mouth, like crowns, bridges or braces: Some dental treatments put teeth at risk for decay at the point where the crown meets the underlying tooth structure or around the brackets of orthodontic appliances.
7. Patients who are frequent snackers, eat sugary foods, or have a family history of cavities are at an increased risk of tooth decay.
The team here at Walla Walla Dental Care will help you know if your teeth would benefit from additional fluoride. If they would, it’s easy to have this procedure done when you’re in for your regular appointment.
Give us a call today to get on the books at (509) 525-4833.