East Wenatchee WA
Your teeth are the hardest substance in the human body because they are heavily mineralized. One of the important minerals in your teeth is fluoride. This mineral is important to the health of our teeth, but is lost every day with normal use through a process known as demineralization. Fortunately, it can be replaced. There are trace amounts of fluoride found in certain foods, it can be found in treated water, and it can also be found in fluoridated oral care products. At Johnson Family Dental, we can help to restore missing fluoride and strengthen your teeth with occasional fluoride treatments as part of your preventive care.
Why is Fluoride So Important?
While your teeth are hard, they are not impervious to damage. We use our teeth a lot, and throughout the day, plaque and oral bacteria buildup in the mouth. Though it is naturally occurring, this buildup is harmful to your oral health. Plaque and oral bacteria both produce acids that eat away at the enamel of your teeth. This leads to tooth decay and cavities. Bacteria then hide out in the cavities and continue their destruction of your teeth. The longer cavities go untreated, the worse they become. The structure and strength of the affected tooth become compromised. Cavities may even grow into the inner layer of the teeth, which can lead to a serious infection. Fluoride is an element that helps to protect your teeth, preventing the damage caused by acid attacks.
Am I at Risk for Tooth Decay?
There are certain risk factors that can increase your risks for developing tooth decay.
|Poor Dental Hygiene:Poor dental hygiene is one of the leading factors for developing tooth decay. Brushing and flossing, along with regular dental visits are essential for protecting your teeth. Skipping out on any part of your routine can lead to an excess buildup of plaque and bacteria that can contribute to cavities.
|Lifestyle Habits: Some unhealthy habits like smoking cigarettes and marijuana, or excessive drinking of alcohol can increase your risk. These habits cause a drying of the mouth, reducing saliva levels which are naturally helpful to cleaning away food debris.
|Tooth Shape: Some patients naturally have deeper pits and valleys in the biting surfaces of their teeth. Food particles and oral bacteria can lodge, and it can be difficult to thoroughly clean these spaces with your toothbrush.
|Dental restorations: Teeth that have been worked on, such as veneers, crowns and bridges are more susceptible to cavities.
|Gum recession: Gum recession exposes more surface area of your teeth.
|Dry Mouth: Besides smoking and drinking alcohol, some patients may experience dry mouth due to medication, a medical issue or just naturally produce less saliva. This leaves the patient more susceptible to cavities.
Protecting Your Teeth with Fluoride Treatments
During your regular dental exam, we will take all factors into consideration to protect your oral health. A fluoride treatment is a very simple, straightforward, pain-free process. They are done as needed following your dental cleaning. Before the treatment, we first thoroughly clean your teeth. We then paint a fluoride gel onto the surfaces of your teeth. The fluoride absorbs into the teeth through the enamel, restoring the lost mineral to your teeth. There is no need to rinse the gel off. It should be left on the teeth undisturbed for 30 minutes for the best results.
Benefits for Anyone of Any Age
Often, fluoride treatments are associated with children. Fluoride is often applied to their teeth because they tend to be more prone to cavities than adults, however, adults are not immune to cavity formation. Fluoride can be beneficial for anyone of any age.
If you are interested in learning more about our fluoride treatment, or you want to find out if they are right for you, call Johnson Family Dental at (509) 886-8833 today.