We offer a variety of fluoride treatments that are effective at protecting your enamel and lessening the likelihood of future cavities. We have multiple flavors of topical fluoride that can be applied to you and your children’s teeth through mouth rinses and toothpaste. The process only takes a few minutes each visit and can be an excellent method for preserving a strong and healthy smile.
At Laser Dental Bakersfield, we pride ourselves on providing premier dental services to people of all ages in our community. From young children to grandma and grandpa, we offer a wide variety of preventive, restorative dentistry, and cosmetic dentistry treatments. One of our most popular preventive treatments, especially for children, involves the use of a naturally-occurring mineral known as fluoride.
Fluoride And Dental Health
Fluoride has been a useful tool in dentistry for roughly one hundred years. This time-tested and effective mineral has been proven to build up stronger teeth and prevent cavities. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends a professional fluoride treatment ever three, six, or 12 months, depending on your risk for tooth decay.
Tooth decay occurs when the bacteria in plaque, the biofilm on our teeth, eats the sugars and other simple carbohydrates we consume on a daily basis. As they feed, the bacteria produce acids that attack the outermost layer of the tooth called enamel. This process is also known as demineralization.
During demineralization, the acids produced by bacteria remove fluoride, calcium, and phosphate from the enamel layer. Luckily, some of these minerals are redeposited to the tooth when we eat and drink certain foods and waters. However, if this process, known as remineralization, occurs at a slower rate than demineralization, a cavity will form.
Fluoride treatment helps supplement the process of remineralization, making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from bacteria. In some cases, fluoride can even reverse minor instances of decay.
Who Benefits From Fluoride Treatment?
Simply put: anyone can benefit from fluoride treatment! It’s the reason that most tap water and toothpaste contain the mineral. People who live in an area that does not have fluoridated water may even be told to take fluoride supplements.
While fluoride is an integral part of oral hygiene for everyone, children have the most to gain from professional treatment. Some dentists may even suggest fluoride treatments as soon as the first primary (baby) tooth erupts. Fluoride treatment will also strengthen permanent teeth as they develop, resulting in a healthy, beautiful smile for years to come.
These days, many adult patients opt for professional fluoride treatment as well. Recent studies have shown topical fluoride is equally important in fighting tooth decay as it is during the development phase.
When Do We Recommend Fluoride Treatment?
We usually recommend fluoride treatment for children between the ages of six months and 16 years. However, children under two years old should still use fluoride-free toothpaste to prevent dental fluorosis (overexposure).
The average person can get away with a fluoride treatment twice a year, about every six months. Most fluoride treatments are performed during a routine checkup and dental cleaning appointment. Dr. Jeannie Molato, DMD may recommend more frequent treatments if you are at a greater risk of tooth decay.
The most common risk factors for tooth decay include:
- A poor oral hygiene routine
- Poor diet and nutrition
- Infrequent checkups and cleanings with a dentist
- Dry mouth, or a lack of saliva
- Hereditary factors, or a family history of cavities
- Smoking, drug use, and excessive alcohol consumption