While usually associated with children, cavities are one of the most common dental issues that affect individuals of all ages. Approximately 91% of adults have experienced at least one cavity in an adult tooth in their lifetime. While brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits can help prevent the formation of tooth decay and cavities, some individuals are more prone to these issues than others. At Rockville Centre Dentistry, we can help to protect your teeth, preventing decay and cavities, with fluoride treatments.
Risk Factors for Decay and Cavities
There are several factors that can increase your risk of developing tooth decay and cavities. Common risk factors include:
||Poor oral hygiene. Even occasionally skipping brushing and flossing can greatly increase your risk.
||Crooked teeth. Crooked teeth are harder to clean and provide hiding places for plaque and bacteria.
||Certain lifestyle habits, including smoking and alcohol use.
||Dry mouth. This is a condition in which your mouth does not have sufficient saliva, which creates an ideal environment for bacterial growth.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that is integral to the strength of your teeth. While it occurs in your teeth naturally, a process called demineralization causes your enamel to lose fluoride, and other important minerals, on a daily basis. Fortunately, fluoride and other minerals can also be replaced through remineralization. Fluoride can be found in small amounts in certain types of foods as well as in treated tap water. It is also available in fluoridated oral care products. So long as you are replacing the same amount of fluoride that you are losing, your teeth can resist decay and cavities. If you are losing more fluoride than you are replacing, this is when decay occurs.
Why is Fluoride Important?
Fluoride is essential for the strength of your teeth. This element helps your teeth to fight off the attacks of acids produced by plaque and oral bacteria, as well as the acids found in different types of foods and drinks. It helps your teeth to effectively prevent acid erosion, protecting them from decay and cavities. In many cases, fluoride can also be used to help reverse the early stages of tooth decay before a cavity develops.
While many people get enough fluoride through water and oral care products, some individuals are more prone to decay and cavities than others. Fluoride treatments can help. A fluoride treatment is incredibly simple, quick, and completely non-invasive. After cleaning your teeth, we apply a fluoride gel to the surfaces of your teeth. The fluoride in the gel absorbs directly into your enamel, where it goes to work strengthening your teeth. While the gel does not need to be rinsed or removed in any way, we do recommend that you avoid eating and drinking for at least 30 minutes for the best possible results.
I Thought Fluoride was for Kids?
Fluoride treatments are common for kids. This is because kids are typically more prone to cavities than adults. However, there are some adults who are more prone to cavities than others, despite taking good care of their mouths. We can help you to determine if these treatments are the right option for you.
If you are at a greater risk of developing tooth decay and cavities, fluoride treatments, in conjunction with good oral hygiene, can help to provide your teeth with the protection they need. For more information, and to find out if fluoride treatments are right for you, call Rockville Centre Dentistry at (516) 678-0100 today.