Keeping your teeth healthy and bright is a team effort. At home, you need to make sure you brush and floss your teeth regularly. However, you cannot do it all by yourself. You need our help. That is why regular dental appointments with us at Tigard Family Dental, which include a thorough cleaning and as well as a fluoride treatment, can help keep your teeth strong and free from tooth decay.
What Causes Tooth Decay?
There are many different things that can lead to tooth decay (also known as cavities, or dental caries). Certain foods, for instance, can make your teeth more vulnerable to decay. Sugar is especially harmful to your teeth. Whenever you eat, bacteria grow and multiply inside your mouth. These bacteria release acids, which can target your dental enamel.
If you fail to remove these bacteria regularly, the acids that they release can start to attack your dental enamel. If they penetrate the enamel and expose the soft dentin below, then you may start to develop a cavity.
Why Your Teeth Need Fluoride
Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that is found throughout nature. When it comes in contact with your teeth, it can deposit upon them, reinforcing them and restoring the enamel. Your teeth require fluoride to help keep them strong. They are constantly fighting demineralization, which can weaken them.
Fluoride can be found in certain types of foods (such as potatoes and grapes), drinks (including coffee and tea), tap water, and even in your toothpaste. Despite being found in all of these different places, though, it simply is not enough for many people to help protect their teeth. That is why a fluoride treatment is so important. Not only can it help re-mineralize your teeth, but it can also help prevent cavities. In some cases, it can also help reverse cavities that have already started!
Who Can Benefit from a Fluoride Treatment?
There is a common misconception that only children are good candidates for fluoride. That could not be further than the truth. People of all ages can benefit from professional fluoride treatment. Adults, especially those who have teeth that are susceptible to tooth decay, can receive a fluoride treatment. People who have special needs (and may struggle to take care of their teeth) may also benefit from fluoride. The elderly may find that regular fluoride treatments can help them preserve their teeth and help prevent tooth loss.
Another common myth about fluoride treatments is that they can be dangerous. Some people continue to promote this erroneous belief, but research has repeatedly demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of this treatment. However, children, elderly, and disabled individuals should still be closely monitored when brushing their teeth to help prevent the accidental swallowing of fluoride, as this can lead to toxicity.
After Your Treatment
A professional fluoride treatment is an easy and painless procedure. We will provide you with it in our practice. Please abstain from eating or drinking for up to thirty minutes following your treatment to avoid accidentally rinsing it off. Avoid brushing your teeth until the evening, because if you brush too soon, you may inadvertently brush off your treatment.
Schedule Your Appointment
If you would like to learn more about the many benefits of a fluoride treatment, or you are ready to set up an appointment with us here at Tigard Family Dental, please give us a call today at (971) 762-1262.