3 Benefits Of A Fluoride Treatment


Your dentist may give you a fluoride treatment to help strengthen and protect your teeth. The treatment is not complicated. A gel, varnish or foam that contains fluoride is topically applied to your teeth and left in place for a few minutes so the formula can properly adhere. To help hold the treatment in place, a mouth guard may be used during the procedure. In addition, your dentist may advise you not to eat or drink for a half hour or so after the treatment. Here are a few benefits that you can receive from a fluoride treatment:

Remineralization

Fluoride is a naturally occurring substance that can help harden teeth. Minerals cause your teeth to be hard and strong. A mineral called calcium hydroxyapatite makes up 96 percent of your tooth material. The remaining four percent is water and protein. When your teeth are exposed to acid, the calcium hydroxyapatite slowly dissolves. The dissolution of this mineral is called demineralization.

Each day, as you drink and eat, your teeth come in contact with acid. Some of the acid is a natural component in your food or drink, such as the citric acid in an orange. However, other acid is produced as a digestive byproduct when the bacteria in your mouth consume carbohydrates, such as sugar.

If your tooth enamel becomes too demineralized, it becomes more susceptible to decay. The fluoride treatment helps move calcium and phosphate to the surface of your teeth. This remineralizes the tooth in compromised areas by forming a mineral called calcium fluoropatite. This new mineral resists acid erosion even better than the original tooth did. 

Demineralization Stopped

Since calcium fluoropatite can withstand exposure to acid better than calcium hydroxyapatite, your teeth become progressively stronger from exposure to fluoride. It is helpful to drink fluoridated water and even use over-the-counter fluoride rinses. However, a professional fluoride treatment is more concentrated.

Bacterial Metabolism Stopped

Fluoride inhibits bacterial metabolism by arresting bacterial enzymes. It reduces the bacteria's ability to tolerate acid. Once the acid tolerance is lowered, electrolysis, which is the way the bacteria break down glucose with enzymes, is stopped.  Even low levels of fluoride have been shown to completely stop glycolysis in oral bacterial cells. 

Fluoride can be used to strengthen your teeth and make them less susceptible to decay. If you are interested in receiving a professional fluoride treatment, contact a dentist such as Ellsworth & Day DDS to make an appointment.

About Me

FAQs About Pregnancy and Dental Health

During pregnancy, expectant mothers have to deal with a host of changes to their bodies. I was surprised to learn that part of those changes is to your dental health. I was not aware that hormonal changes could mean an increased risk of gum infection and other dental problems. Luckily for me, my dentist was prepared to handle any problems that I experienced during my pregnancy. I created this blog to help other expectant mothers understand the changes that their dental health could experience throughout their pregnancies and the possible ramifications those changes could have on their pregnancies and the health of their unborn children.

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