If you are at a high risk for tooth decay, you may benefit from fluoride treatments. Fluoride treatments, along with good oral hygiene, is one of the most effective methods to prevent tooth decay. At the office of Dr. Anjum A. Ansari, DMD in Boston, MA, we offer fluoride treatments to patients to assist in preventing the development of plaque build-up and cavities. Fluoride treatments are quick and easy, and while they are most used on young children, they can also be effective for adults.
What is fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral that naturally exists in water and many different foods. While most tap water in the United States contains fluoride, most bottled water does not. In today’s society, many individuals will use bottled water for baby bottles, to toss into school lunches, or to use at a workout. Because of this, many people today have a fluoride deficiency which can increase the risk of cavities.
How fluoride helps prevent cavities
Enamel is the hard, outer covering of your teeth made that is made from calcium and phosphate. Enamel is stronger than bone and is kept strong by calcium and phosphate in your saliva. When you consume starchy or sugary foods, the bacteria in your mouth begin to thrive on the carbohydrates and produce acids that attack the tooth enamel, stripping it of its nutrients, and making it more susceptible to tooth decay.
Sources of fluoride
There are several different ways to expose your teeth to fluoride, they include:
- Topical fluoride treatments – A quick application of a fluoride varnish on the teeth helps strengthen them and make them more resistant to decay. Other forms of topical treatment include toothpastes and mouth rinses that contain fluoride.
- Systemic fluoride – Drinking water and eating foods that contain fluoride is helpful for teeth that have already erupted as well as those still below the gumline. We are always happy to recommend appropriate sources of fluoride based on age.
It’s important to remember that good oral hygiene at home is still the most important method for preventing decay and improving your oral health. Make sure to brush at least twice daily, floss every day and maintain twice yearly visits with Dr. Ansari to keep your mouth in optimal health. To book an appointment, please call us today at (617) 581-0689.