Most often fluoride and its use in dental treatments is associated with children and the strengthening of their young, vulnerable teeth. Although fluoride is important for young children, it is beneficial for adolescents and adults of all ages as well. In fact, new research indicates that fluoride’s role in fighting tooth decay as we age is just as important as its role in the strengthening and protection of newly developing teeth. That’s why at Ark-La-Tex Pediatric Dentistry, as a part of our commitment to preserving your smile, Texarkana and New Boston dentist Dr. Brian Steele encourages patients to receive a fluoride treatment as part of their routine oral healthcare.
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can be found in both food and water. It aids in the prevention of tooth decay and cavities by making teeth resistant to the acids created by plaque and sugars. Fluoride is deposited on tooth enamel when you eat foods and beverages that contain it; it is lost when the acids produced by plaque and sugars eat away at the enamel of a tooth. Tooth decay occurs when the amount of fluoride lost outweighs what is being deposited.
A fluoride treatment involves applying fluoride topically to teeth. The in-office fluoride treatment is simple, painless, and fast, and it involves applying fluoride in the form of varnish, gel, or foam directly onto the teeth. This can be accomplished by wearing a mouthguard filled with the foam or gel or by having varnish painted directly onto your teeth.