What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is an element that occurs naturally in human teeth. It not only helps to protect the teeth from developing tooth decay and cavities, but it also aids in helping for proper development of the adult teeth in children. Every day, a natural process called demineralization occurs. This process causes the teeth to lose fluoride and other important minerals. Fortunately, they can all be replaced through a process called remineralization. However, how is fluoride replenished?
There are several different ways in which fluoride can be restored to your teeth. Fluoride is found in trace amounts in different types of foods as well as in treated tap water. Fluoride can also be found in specially formulated toothpaste and mouthwashes.
How Does Fluoride Protect Teeth?
Fluoride works with other minerals that are found within the teeth, including calcium and phosphate. It teams up with these minerals to create a powerful defense system against the attacks from the acids produced by plaque and bacteria. Fluoride is essential for providing tooth enamel with incredible strength, enabling it to effectively prevent the acid erosion that leads to decay and the formation of cavities.
Fluoride also works to help adult teeth developing below the gum line. Fluoride that is consumed is absorbed into the bloodstream where it combines with calcium and phosphate in the developing teeth. This aids in helping the teeth to become stronger, allowing them to be more decay resistant after they erupt.
Fluoride Treatments for Your Child
While brushing and flossing are essential habits for preventing tooth decay and cavities, as well as other oral health issues, children are often more prone to cavities than older patients. Children often do not brush properly, rush through their brushing and flossing routine, or even try to skip out on brushing and flossing altogether. All of these factors can significantly increase their risk of developing tooth decay and cavities.
We provide fluoride treatments for your child. These treatments are topical. After your child has had their teeth cleaned, we simply paint a fluoride gel onto the surfaces of their teeth. The fluoride gel absorbs directly into the enamel where it goes to work helping to strengthen the teeth to prevent decay. We do not need to wash away or otherwise remove the gel. However, we do recommend that your child abstains from drinking or eating anything for at least 30 minutes after the application of the fluoride treatments. This helps to ensure optimal results. Fluoride treatments are quick, painless, and safe, and they are generally applied after every cleaning every six months.
With fluoride treatments, we can help to prevent decay and cavities in the teeth of your child, as well as protect their developing adult teeth. For more information, and to schedule an appointment, call Great Grins for KIDS - Portland today at (971) 470-0054.