When you take your child to a dentist in Oakville, you may notice that he or she gets an extra treatment as a part of the dental exam that you do not get as an adult. Adults will occasionally get a fluoride treatment, but it is not a normal part of the adult dental exam as it is for children.
The dentist will put a fluoride treatment in two trays that surround the upper and lower set of teeth. Your child bites down on the trays and stands over a sink so that the liquid can drip out when it gets mixed with saliva. The trays help to keep a good amount of the formula on the child’s teeth for as long as the dentist determines the treatment should last. It also takes care of the additional task of keeping the child from swallowing the formula. This is a risk, because fluoride gel is usually flavored so that the child will not spit it out, but then you have to keep them from swallowing it, as it can be harmful if ingested.
Everyone needs fluoride in their teeth, as it is a naturally occurring mineral in the tooth enamel that helps the teeth to fight off acids that cause decay. Fluoride is lost, or demineralized, from the teeth in this process.
Fresh, unprocessed foods are not likely to add back in, or remineralize, the fluoride, which is why many communities have fluoridated water and why a dentist in Oakville will give fluoride treatments. It is especially important for children, whose teeth are still developing. Between the ages of 6 months and 16 years, as primary and then permanent teeth are forming, it is vital to have the right balance of minerals so that they will grow in strength and durability.
If your dentist in Oakville determines that you or your child are not receiving enough replacement fluoride, he or she may also recommend mouth wash and toothpaste that have higher levels of fluoride in the ingredients.
There are several instances in which your dentist may recommend that you come in for a fluoride treatment. If you have a condition that causes dry mouth, your saliva will not be as effective in washing away the food particles that bring acids to attack your teeth.
The minerals, including fluoride, will be more prone to destruction without enough replacement. If you have a gum disease such as gingivitis or periodontitis, your gums may pull back and expose more of your tooth that would then be subjected to acid. More prone to decay, this part of your tooth will likely benefit from an added boost of fluoride.
Sometimes the evidence of your need for extra fluoride will come from a high occurrence of cavities. That will be a clear sign for your dentist in Oakville that your teeth are more prone to decay than normal, and he or she may determine that the solution is to fortify your teeth with extra fluoride.
However, it is important to have your fluoride intake monitored by a dentist in Oakville. In some cases, an excess of fluoride can cause problems, so it is important to have the correct balance. Fluorosis is when excess fluoride causes your teeth to discolor. This shows that the balance of minerals in your enamel is off, and it is actually causing harm to your enamel. It does not hurt, so you or your child might not recognize Fluorosis on your own. However, your dentist will see white specks and streaks or even brown discoloration.