How Does Fluoride Protect Your Smile?
It isn't easy to show off your smile if you don't feel confident about your dental health. Most people understand the importance of daily brushing and flossing, but treating your teeth with fluoride is an essential part of a person's oral care. So, what does fluoride do for your teeth, and how does it help protect them? Read on to learn more about how fluoride is the superhero when it comes to proper oral hygiene from the team at LANCO Dental Care in Lancaster, PA.
Does fluoride prevent cavities?
Fluoride helps prevent cavities, or early tooth decay, by making the tooth enamel more resistant to acid attacks from sugars and plaque bacteria in the mouth. When you eat, cavity-causing bacteria produce acids that demineralize the teeth, leaving them more vulnerable to tooth decay or cavities. The outer layer of your teeth, or enamel, is stronger than bone and made from phosphate and calcium. Your saliva is loaded with these two protective agents, washing teeth when eating to disrupt acid production. When your saliva has fluoride in it from sources like water or toothpaste, they work together as a defense mechanism to make teeth more resistant to acid attacks and protect your smile.
In what ways is fluoride available?
Fluoride is a mineral found in our drinking water. It also can be directly applied to the tooth's surface through fluoridated mouth rinses, kinds of toothpaste, and professional dental fluoride treatments. At LANCO Dental Care, fluoride treatments may be administered to all Lancaster, PA patients. However, this preventive dentistry service is generally reserved for children and teens whose teeth are still developing. Older patients who are more susceptible to cavities or patients whose drinking water lacks this essential mineral may also require dental fluoride treatments. Our team has a range of fluoride formulas in different flavors to address the needs of every patient. We can also prescribe fluorinated mouth rinses, which are a higher concentrate than over-the-counter options or chewable supplements.
Do you need a dentist in Lancaster, PA?
Our team can apply fluoride directly to the teeth in a gel, varnish, or foam treatment. Fluoride foam treatments are placed in a mouth guard worn for about 1 – 4 minutes. Fluoride in the form of gel or varnish is painted onto the tooth's surface, requiring patients to not eat or drink for at least 30 minutes afterward. No matter how it is applied, once the fluoride bonds with the phosphate and calcium that naturally exists on the enamel, a strong barrier forms to help resist tooth decay and prevent cavities. A dental fluoride treatment every six months, along with a consistent at-home oral care routine, is highly effective at fighting cavities and keeping teeth healthy.
Proper oral hygiene starts with a good at-home routine of brushing twice a day and flossing daily, along with a dental cleaning every six months. Regular visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning and dental fluoride treatment can protect your family's smile and minimize the risk of developing cavities. Contact our team at LANCO Dental Care in Lancaster, PA, and schedule a dental cleaning with a fluoride treatment.