Acid-producing bacteria eat away at the surface of the enamel. Over time the crystalline structure weakens, forming dental caries (cavities). Fortunately, your teeth have a built-in defense mechanism called remineralization. During this process, the necessary minerals rebond to the surface of the enamel and strengthen it. However, the tug of war between decay and remineralization is rarely equal. Due to the high amount of sugars, carbohydrates and acids in modern diets, erosion and decay usually win. Fortunately, Dr. Abir Faraj can provide a solution. Professional fluoride treatment from Novi Family Dentistry can speed up your body’s natural defense against decay.
What is Fluoride Exactly?
Fluoride is a mineral derived from fluorine, the single most reactive element in the periodic table. Fluoride is a compound of fluorine bonded to another element or group. Both food and water naturally contain fluoride: however, not at a high enough concentration to reverse the effects of tooth decay.
What is the Process for Fluoride Treatment?
Fluoride is most effective when in direct contact with the enamel. So the best way to reverse the effects of acid erosion is through fluoride therapy applied directly to your teeth. Topical fluoride comes in the form of toothpaste and mouthwash; however, you can choose to take this treatment one step further. Dr. Faraj offers professional fluoride treatment in the form of a topical varnish. During this simple procedure our dentist applies a temporarily adhesive form of fluoride to the surface of your teeth. The fluoride remains in contact with the enamel for several hours after your appointment and helps remineralize the surface of your teeth. You should not eat, drink, brush or smoke for at least 30 minutes after treatment and be sure to follow all other instructions from Dr. Faraj.
Benefits of Fluoride Treatment
Fluoride disrupts the process of tooth decay in three ways:
1) Reducing the bacteria’s ability to produce acid;
2) Creating a better environment for quality remineralization;
3) And strengthening the structure of developing enamel so it is more resistant to future attacks.
Who Should Get Fluoride Treatments?
Virtually everyone. Both adults and children benefit from this treatment to protect their existing teeth and strengthen developing ones. It is especially important for young children under the age of six, anyone wearing braces or other dental appliances and inpiduals undergoing radiation for cancer of the head or neck. This treatment also helps in cases of chronic dry mouth, gum disease or a prolonged history of dental decay. You should seriously consider fluoride therapy if you have poor snacking habits, lack dental hygiene or will have little access to a dentist.
How Often Should I Get Fluoride Treatments?
In children, fluoride can be applied up to four times a year, or every three months. Adults commonly get this treatment at least once a year, but the frequency will vary based on your inpidual needs, oral health, diet and hygiene habits.
Choosing Dr. Abir Faraj for Fluoride Treatments in Novi, MI
Fluoride is both safe and effective when used under the supervision of a dental professional. Dr. Faraj closely monitors the dose of fluoride, keeping it well within the realm of safety. She can even use it on babies as soon as they have their first tooth. It is true, high doses of fluoride could cause nausea in small children or fluorosis (white spots or discoloration on the enamel). However, this occurs most often when patients ingest too much fluoride by eating toothpaste or taking fluoride supplements unsupervised. If you do have concerns about fluoride, fluorosis or fluoride therapy, be sure to discuss them with Dr. Faraj. She will give you reassurance about the treatment or provide alternative options to best suit your needs.
Contact us today if you have any questions about fluoride therapy or are looking to make an appointment.