Fluoride Treatments in West Seneca, NY
Experienced West Seneca Dentists Providing Affordable Dental Fluoride Treatments
Fluoride treatments have been rising in popularity as a measure of combatting tooth degradation in preventative dentistry.
Fluoride is an ion of the element fluorine, a faint yellow gas that naturally occurs in the Earth and has a variety of industrial and medical uses. Chemical compounds that contain fluoride, most notably sodium fluoride, are essential in the prevention of cavities. Enamel, the firm, off-white substance that forms the exterior of the teeth, is easily weakened in the presence of acids produced by bacteria and the breakdown of carbohydrates in the mouth. Fluoride offsets this damage by chemically bonding to the enamel, changing the chemical structure of the surface of teeth just enough to reduce the effectiveness of the acid. Enamel can remineralize in the presence of fluoride, which may also decrease the capability of the bacteria in plaque to create acid. Though ingesting too much fluoride has the potential to be detrimental to one’s health—fluorosis can permanently stain or even corrode the teeth in its most severe stages—such a condition is uncommon, and fluoride remains vital to the development and maintenance of the teeth.
Fluoride typically exists in water in low quantities, but fluoridation of water in much of the United States has improved oral health throughout the country by providing necessary fluoride to those with mineral deficiencies. Toothpaste is another common source of fluoride, and the substance is included as well in most mouthwashes. Unfortunately, drinking a lot of water and following a daily regimen of brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash are not always sufficient in the battle against bacteria. Though fluoride is readily available in water and dental care products, only regular treatment from a dental health care professional in combination with consistent intake of fluoride is effective in preventing the decay and deterioration of teeth.
Fluoride treatments have been rising in popularity as a measure of combating tooth degradation in preventative dentistry. Individuals at a higher risk of developing cavities, such as those under the age of 16 years, the elderly, and people who wear dentures, can potentially benefit the most from a fluoride treatment, though this procedure can help individuals of all ages and dental needs. The treatment procedure is short, lasting only a few minutes, and rather straightforward. Fluoride treatments incorporate the simple application of a substance with a high concentration of fluoride directly to the surfaces of the teeth. A dentist may use a gel, a foam, or a solution to introduce the fluoride to the teeth, either by painting the foam or gel onto the teeth with a brush or by placing the solution in a tray that is held in place against the teeth for several minutes. Whichever substance is used will solidify in fewer than ten minutes’ time as the fluoride bonds with the enamel. A dentist may recommend avoiding food and drink for about half an hour after the treatment in order to ensure that the fluoride is not washed away before it can permanently bond with the enamel, but all patients can return to their regular diet after that period.