Fluoride is a mineral found in water, tea and many of the foods we eat. It can also be found in some types of toothpaste. Fluoride is necessary for strong, healthy teeth. Therefore, your dentist may recommend fluoride treatment for your child to prevent cavities. Fluoride strengthens the teeth and protects them from the sugars, acids, and bacteria that constantly attack the enamel on your teeth throughout the day. Fluoride keeps your child’s teeth healthy.
At Pop Smiles Dentistry, Dr. Jamil Sowan will check your child’s fluoride level and may recommend a fluoride treatment to keep teeth free of decay. For more information about fluoride treatments, contact our office at (703) 844-0404. We can schedule your child’s appointment with our friendly dentist.
Our dentist recommends professional fluoride treatment for most children during their regular dental checkup. Further fluoride treatment may be recommended if your child’s teeth are susceptible to decay or if you are not receiving a sufficient amount of fluoride from other sources. Professional fluoride is available in varnish, gel, or foam forms.
How Does Fluoride Work?
Fluoride is absorbed into the enamel of the teeth. It replenishes the lost calcium and phosphorous, which repairs the enamel and keeps your teeth hard. This process, called remineralization, prevents tooth decay.
This process naturally occurs in your mouth. After you eat, your saliva becomes acidic. This causes calcium and phosphorous to dissolve from the teeth. When you are not eating, your saliva is less acidic. At this time, the opposite process occurs. Your body replenishes the calcium and phosphorous that was lost. When fluoride is available during this process, the minerals are harder than normal. This strengthens your teeth and prevents calcium and phosphorous from dissolving.
While fluoride is good, too much can cause stains, pitting and white specks. Fluoride should only be used on children age 2 and older. It is often recommended for children between the ages of 6 and 12. Your insurance will likely cover fluoride, particularly for those under the age of 18.
Can Adults Get Dental Fluoride Treatments?
Sometimes adults can benefit from fluoride treatments at their dentist. There are several risk factors that can increase one’s risk of developing cavities. They include eating disorders and excessive drug and alcohol use. A poor diet and poor oral hygiene can also increase this risk. Saliva helps protect teeth from cavities and the elderly and those who take certain medications experienced decreased saliva. Ask our caring dentist about the possibility of fluoride treatments. He can assess your oral hygiene and determine if you could benefit from fluoride.
Fluoride treatment is just one of many ways to protect your teeth and keep your smile healthy for a lifetime. Combined with sealants and routine cleanings and exams, you can get your child off to a healthy start with a healthy mouth. For more information about fluoride and other forms of preventive dentistry, contact Pop Smiles Dentistry today. Our friendly dentist can help you care for your child’s smile!