Dental caries, commonly known as tooth decay, is an epidemic disease in the United States. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research reports that by age 11, more than half of all children have caries in baby teeth. Ninety-two percent of adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have had at least one cavity, and 26 percent have untreated decay. To prevent cavities, Drs. Thomas J. Rolfes, Christina T. Do, and Timothy J. Rolfes and the hygiene team recommends dental fluoride treatment to supplement daily oral hygiene and regular professional cleanings at Smiles4OC in Costa Mesa, CA.
Dental fluoride options available to patients in and around the Costa Mesa, CA area
Fluoride is a mineral that supports development and maintenance of strong tooth enamel. It is found naturally in small amounts in many foods, and public water supplies are often supplemented. Yet the incidence of tooth decay cited above shows it is not enough.
You can get fluoride for teeth in commercial forms such as fluoride mouth rinse and toothpaste with fluoride. Those trace amounts can be beneficial, but professional fluoride treatment as part of a program of preventive dentistry is more effective. It fortifies tooth enamel, making it less vulnerable to acid attack from harmful oral pathogens.
Too much ingested fluoride (such as oral supplements or swallowing a very large amount of toothpaste) can be a potential threat to tooth development and health in children. Topical fluoride for kid’s teeth, administered under the care of a trained dental team is a very safe alternative.
Fluoride for adults
As with children, professional fluoride supplementation has many benefits for adults, too. So, it is not beneficial just for developing teeth! Researchers have found that fluoride is an effective decay-fighter for patients of all ages.
We’ve listed a few of the ways that fluoride safely supports a lifetime of healthy smiles:
- Prevents tooth decay among adults who are at greater risk of developing this condition, a leading cause of tooth loss.
- For those adults who tend to snack on sweets and sip on sugary drinks, it plays an important role in strengthening the teeth and maintaining good oral health.
- Makes treated teeth more resilient among those patients with deeply-grooved tooth surfaces (grooves and pits trap food particles, which promotes tooth decay and gum disease).
- Bolsters the protective covering of the teeth, for those patients who are genetically susceptible to weak enamel — weakened enamel makes teeth more vulnerable to fractures.
- Fluoride helps to prevent decay for those seniors with chronic dry mouth. Older patients may develop dry mouth, as a side effect of chronic, systemic medical conditions and of the pills that are used to manage these diseases. A lack of healthy saliva puts patients at increased risk of developing cavities, because saliva is a natural cleanser that aids in remineralizing the teeth and protecting against progressive enamel erosion.
- A great complement to oral hygiene techniques and oral care products, among those patients who are challenged to sufficiently care for their teeth and gums at home.
- Fits well within active professionals’ and parent’s lifestyle — in-office fluoride supplementation can be applied quickly and painlessly during a regular checkup or within one fast office visit.
- Fights many lifestyle-oriented threats to the teeth, including smoking and tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumptions, poor nutrition and eating disorders that can strip and weaken tooth enamel, and cause sensitivity.
Fluoridated varnish is brushed onto teeth where it dries quickly. Even an active child usually has no problem sitting still for this treatment, because it only takes only a few minutes to complete. Likewise, for busy adults, we may suggest using special trays to apply a pleasant-tasting foam. Then, we encourage these adult patients to avoid eating or drinking for a half hour after the trays are applied. So, that way, the pores in the enamel can absorb this mineral well.
Dental fluoride treatment is just one of the ways Drs. Thomas J. Rolfes, Christina T. Do, and Timothy J. Rolfes and the hygiene team at Smiles4OC help Costa Mesa CA, area patients prevent tooth decay. Schedule a visit to our office or call us at (714) 557-0700 to learn more.