Children easily develop cavities because of a lack of proper oral care and excessive love for sweets. One of the preventive measures that a dentist can provide for children to help prevent this problem is to apply fluoride to their teeth. Fluoride treatments help protect teeth from the destructive forces that exist in the mouth.
Fluoride is a mineral that naturally occurs in many places. Research has found that it can protect teeth from the effects of oral acid, and it can even help repair teeth in the early stages even after cavities have started.
The Cause of Cavities
Cavities, whether in children or adults, are largely caused by acid. It is produced by bacteria that are normally found in the mouth. Every time you consume sugar or carbs, the bacteria will produce acid for the next 20 minutes. As plaque is formed on your teeth and is permitted to stay there – until you brush your teeth – the acid is directly applied to your teeth. This weakens the tooth enamel and will cause pitting and grooves to form – leading to sensitive teeth and a cavity.
The pitting and weakening of the tooth enamel are made worse when foods consumed also contain acid. This acid adds to the damage caused by the acid already in your mouth. Acid is found in many foods, including sodas, fruit juices, citrus fruit, tomato sauces, and more.
The acid can be removed by drinking water and swishing it around the mouth after consuming acidic food or drink. Unfortunately, children do not always have an opportunity to do this – or to brush their teeth after eating.
To help prevent cavities in children, a dentist can apply fluoride to the teeth. Generally, it is only applied to teeth that may have deeper crevices in them because they make it harder to clean.
In the dentist’s office, fluoride comes in several forms. The dentist may use it as a varnish, a solution, a gel, or as foam. It is often applied with a cotton swab or a small brush. In some cases, the dentist may give the patient an oral rinse,
Oral Care Still Necessary
This type of treatment does not eliminate the need for regular oral care. Daily brushing and flossing are still necessary because the treatment is only applied to the top surfaces of the teeth (except when given as foam or rinse). Besides, it will help a child to develop a habit of daily oral care.
Candidates for Treatments
In addition to young children, others may also benefit from treatments with fluoride. They include people with:
- Eating disorders
- Poor oral hygiene
- No regular professional dental care
- Seniors with limited ability to care for themselves
- Orthodontic treatments
- Drug or alcohol abuse.
The dentists at Bright White Dental provide fluoride treatments. We also have pediatric dentists that are specialists with children and they make dentistry more fun for them. Our dentists treat the whole family and we provide many types of dentistry to meet all your needs.