Tooth decay is a part of life. It’s caused by acid-producing bacteria that form around the teeth and gums, thus leading to what dentists call ‘plaque.’ Good oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentists can prevent this phenomenon, but there are further steps that you can take to ensure that this doesn’t happen to you.
We all know that we should brush and floss twice a day, but many of us neglect to realize the importance of fluoride. Fluoride is often found in the toothpaste that we use, but this is not always the case. Fluoride is a mineral that helps to prevent tooth decay, and often you can get treatment when you visit your dentist. We’re going to explore two types of fluoride: topical and systemic.
The most common type of fluoride is topical fluoride. This can be found in toothpaste, mouth rinses, and treatments. If you go to your dentist and receive a fluoride treatment, then this would be considered a topical fluoride. This topical fluoride is inexpensive, safe, and quite effective for ensuring the overall health and beauty of your smile.
The other type of fluoride is systemic fluoride, and this kind is actually swallowed. Did you realize that fluoridated water flows through most of our pipes? This is a dietary fluoride supplement, and you’re consuming it whether you like it or not. This kind of fluoride is responsible for the maximum reduction of dental decay. It’s essential for the oral health of kids and adults.
What Causes Dental Caries?
- Eating Disorders
- Poor Oral Hygiene
- Alcohol and Drug Abuse
- Lack of Regular Dental Visits
- High Levels of Bacteria in the Mouth
- Dry Mouth
- Poor Diet
- Head or Neck Radiation Therapy
As you can see, there are several reasons why you might be suffering from dental decay. Fluoride can help to maintain the health of your mouth, no matter how many of these problems you’re dealing with. Let’s take a look at the ins and outs of having a professional fluoride treatment.
Professional Fluoride Treatment
Although you may think that it’s enough to simply use a fluoride toothpaste at home, the reality is that the fluoride treatment used in your dentist’s office is far stronger than what you get over the counter. There are also fluoride mouthwashes that you can purchase at the pharmacy, but these pale in comparison as well.
It only takes a few minutes to receive a fluoride treatment at your dentist’s office. It comes in the form of a gel, foam, or solution. This is applied topically with a cotton swab or used as a rinse. Keep in mind that after the treatment it’s important to not eat or drink for at least 30 minutes. This helps the fluoride to be fully absorbed.