Fluoride is a mineral that is found naturally in some foods and is added to many municipal water supplies. Fluoride is a necessary part of dental enamel and is added to the tooth every day. Acids from the sugars in the foods you eat and oral bacteria cause minerals such as calcium, phosphate, and fluoride to be lost each day, and if your teeth are not re-mineralized at the same rate they are demineralized, your teeth begin to decay.
Our dentist may recommend additional fluoride treatment to prevent decay. Fluoride strengthens the enamel on your teeth. In younger children, fluoride becomes a part of the tooth’s structure. In those older than six, fluoride is deposited into the tooth and speeds the remineralization process while disrupting bacterial processes. Treatments can include supplements in younger children and topical applications in older kids and adults.
You may benefit from additional fluoride applications if you have dry mouth, gum disease, a history of frequent cavities, or many restorations. You may also need treatment if you are undergoing orthodontic treatment, which can leave you susceptible to decay.
Fluoride alone cannot stop decay, but it can be an invaluable part of your preventive plan. Call our office today to learn more about protecting your smile or to schedule an appointment with our dentist in Santa Clara.