Dr. Sanyk at Smile Hilliard places a strong emphasis on the importance of preventive dentistry for all patients. Preventive dentistry keeps your teeth, gums, and body healthy and prevents the need for more costly and invasive restorative dental treatments down the line. One essential tool in preventing oral health problems from developing is fluoride.
Understanding Tooth Decay and Cavities
To understand how fluoride helps prevent dental problems, you first need to know a little about tooth decay and cavities.
Teeth are covered in a layer of a hard, protective substance called tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is made of minerals like calcium, fluoride, and phosphate. Although tooth enamel is the hardest tissue in the human body, which means it’s very strong, it is still susceptible to damage – damage that’s done by microorganisms called bacteria.
The mouth is full of bacteria that feed on the sugar and starch in our diets. They then produce acid as a waste product.
This acid interacts with our tooth enamel, weakening it and creating soft spots. This early stage of tooth decay is called demineralization. Left unaddressed, demineralization eventually leads to full-on decay. The acid eventually breaks down the tooth enamel to the point where cavities (dental caries) form – first in the enamel, then in the dentin, and eventually down to the pulp.
What Is Fluoride and How Can It Help Your Teeth?
Fluoride is a mineral that can help to remineralize your teeth to strengthen the tooth enamel and even reverse the early demineralization stage of tooth decay.
Does Fluoride Treat Anything Other Than Tooth Decay?
Professional fluoride treatments and other oral healthcare products containing fluoride are also often used to help address tooth sensitivity that can occur as a result of worn enamel or receding gums.
Common Fluoride Sources
Fluoride can benefit the teeth both topically and internally, and there are several common sources of fluoride, including:
- Over-the-counter oral care products such as toothpaste and mouth rinses
- Professional fluoride treatments and prescription fluoride toothpaste
- Fluoridated water from certain city water systems
- Fluoride supplements
Who Can Benefit From Professional Fluoride Treatments?
Most people associate fluoride treatments with children, but the truth is people of all ages who still have natural teeth can benefit from fluoride treatments at the dentist’s office. Whether you suffer from painful tooth sensitivity, have soft spots forming in your tooth enamel, or simply wish to take a proactive approach to your dental care, professional fluoride treatments can help you achieve and maintain optimal oral health.
Professional Fluoride Treatments and More Preventive Dentistry at Hilliard Smile
Smile Hilliard has a wide variety of preventive dentistry treatments, including fluoride, sealants, cleanings, and dental examinations. We believe in taking a multifaceted, proactive approach to every patient’s dental care with a regimen of professional preventive dental services paired with strong oral hygiene habits at home.
To learn more about professional fluoride treatments or to schedule an appointment at our Hilliard, OH office, we welcome you to contact Smile Hilliard today.