Over the past 60-odd years, fluoride supplementation has reduced the number of cavities in the United States by 25%. Yet, even with fluoridated water and fluoride-containing toothpastes, sometimes topical fluoride applications (known as “varnishes”) are sometimes necessary.
Less Costly, Less Invasive
Compared to filling cavities and other restorative measures, preventive fluoride treatments are less invasive and much less costly. For these reasons, Shore Smiles Dental recommends fluoride treatments for children, teens, and adults that are prone to cavities. To see if topical fluoride treatments are right for you, book an appointment with Shore Smiles Dental in Lincroft, today!
If any of these sound like you, you might want to consider fluoride varnish treatments:
The average adult brushes their teeth for less than one minute at a time. That’s less than half the ADA’s recommend two minutes of brushing. As you might expect, this figure is even lower among children. Even if you do follow brushing and flossing guidelines, you may still benefit from topical fluoride treatments. Ask your dentist if fluoride treatments could help your oral health goals — schedule a checkup today!
To understand how fluoride treatments are beneficial, we first need to explain how tooth decay appears in the first place. Tooth decay happens when acids from bacteria demineralize (wear away) the enamel of the tooth. When the mouth is healthy, the salivary glands naturally remineralize the enamel of the teeth. But, when plaque, tartar (calculus), and/or tooth decay are present, the process of remineralization doesn’t always work. That’s where fluoride steps in.
Protection from cavities. Fluoride varnishes coat the teeth to form a more resilient protective barrier against plaque and tartar (the primary causal agents of cavities and tooth decay). When it comes to winning the fight against tartar buildup and tooth decay, fluoride-containing treatments are some of the best tools available to dentists.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring element. Fluoride is the anion of fluorine. In its ionic state, fluoride easily bonds to the minerals found on tooth surface. Tooth enamel is made of hydroxyapatite, a tough, resilient mineral matrix that owes its tight covalent bond to calcium’s positive ions and phosphate's negative ions. Fluoride atoms have a natural affinity for calcium, which is why fluoride readily bonds to the surface of teeth. Fluoride essentially picks up the slack in the process of remineralizing tooth enamel.
Reduced tooth sensitivity. Can’t eat ice cream without wincing? Fluoride varnishes help reduce tooth sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks.
Dentists and dental hygienists recommend bi-annual fluoride treatments for those susceptible to cavities and tooth decay. To learn more about these treatments, schedule a checkup today!Book an Appointment