What are the Benefits of Fluoride Treatment?
Fluoride helps keep teeth strong and healthy by strengthening the enamel which protects teeth from the ongoing process of demineralization and remineralization.
What Is Demineralization And Remineralization Of The Teeth?
The bacteria located in our mouths work to eat away carbohydrates and create acid. This acid also breaks down the surface of our tooth enamel and weakens our teeth. It makes the enamel soft and our teeth more susceptible to decay. This process is known as demineralization.
Remineralization is a process that combats demineralization and helps to protect the teeth. During remineralization, the minerals found in our saliva, phosphate and calcium, work to harden and add strength to our tooth enamel.
How Does Fluoride Prevent Cavities?
Any time there is more demineralization taking place than remineralization, cavities are more likely to occur. Fluoride helps to promote the remineralization process and therefore helps to prevent cavities.
Can Fluoride Reverse Cavities?
Not only can fluoride help to prevent cavities, but it can also help reverse small cavities that have already started to form. When there is more demineralization present, cavities can start. In the earliest stages, a cavity is known as an incipient lesion. When caught in time, these cavities can be stopped and reversed by using fluoride treatment and practicing good oral hygiene habits at home.
Who Is at Higher Risk of Cavities?
People who are at a higher risk of developing cavities include elderly patients and those with special needs. Seniors and anyone who struggles with daily oral hygiene can benefit from regular fluoride treatments. Because they may have difficulty removing plaque from their teeth, these individuals are often at a much higher risk of developing cavities. It is recommended that patients in this group have a fluoride treatment every three to six months.