Fluoride and Decay Prevention
Fluoride is used by your North Vancouver dentist to strengthen tooth enamel and maintain better oral health. It is a naturally-occurring element found in soil, rocks, and water. Since fluoride is an ion, it has a negative charge that is seeking balance through bonding with a positive charge. Tooth enamel is composed of calcium and phosphate, which both have the positive charge fluoride needs. This means that fluoride will bond with the calcium and phosphate in tooth enamel to form a compound called fluorapatite. Fluorapatite is a stronger compound than simply calcium or phosphate, therefore it makes your tooth enamel more resistant against tooth decay.
Did you know…
Fluoride was introduced to dentistry approximately 70 years ago. Since then, fluoride has become an active ingredient in dental products such as toothpaste and mouthwash. Additionally, some communities even provide citizens with fluoridated drinking water.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I need fluoride treatments?
Fluoride treatments are highly beneficial to prevent enamel erosion and dental decay, and are recommended by your North Vancouver dentist. Additionally, fluoride treatments are highly recommended for those who have an early cavity, receding gums, braces, or dry mouth. These individuals can benefit from the oral support that fluoride provides.
How often do I need fluoride treatments?
Fluoride treatments are usually performed directly after a semi-annual teeth cleaning. This means that most people only need fluoride treatments about twice a year. However, fluoride treatments can be performed 1-4 times per year depending on your individual dental needs.
What should I expect when receiving fluoride treatments at my North Vancouver dental office?
Fluoride treatments are quick, painless, and non-invasive. To treat your teeth with fluoride, your North Vancouver dentist will apply a gel, foam, or polish onto the surface of your teeth. It only takes a few minutes to complete and there is no aftercare required.
Is fluoride safe?
Yes! The Canadian Dental Association states that fluoride is one of the most successful preventative oral health treatments. In fact, they also note that fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that is found in a variety of foods and beverages.
However, there are certain populations where the amount of fluoride should be controlled. For example, children under the age of 6 can develop fluorosis if exposed to too much fluoride. Fluorosis is a cosmetic condition that causes the teeth to develop yellow to dark brown stains, lacy white markings, surface irregularities, and highly noticeable pits. Although fluorosis is usually caused by naturally occurring fluoride, it is still important for parents to limit their child’s access to fluoride products.