A preventive program is a cooperative effort by the patient, dentist, and dental staff to preserve the natural dentition and supporting structures by preventing the onset, progress, and recurrence of dental diseases and conditions.
The Benefits of Fluoride Treatment in Houston
Unless you work in a dental office or have a working knowledge of oral health, chances are that you may not exactly know what fluoride is and why it is often seen as a necessity by many dentists and dental hygienists. The answer is quite simple: fluoride is an effective agent for the prevention of tooth decay and the promotion of good oral health.
A natural mineral, fluoride is often found in trace amounts in many foods, as well as freshwater and saltwater sources worldwide. Fluoride helps put a stop to dental caries, also known as cavities or tooth decay, by fighting the acid-producing bacteria known as plaque. What makes fluoride an effective plaque fighter is that it restores and repairs tooth enamel, or protective outer layer.
For these reasons and more, we here at Galleria Dental advise that adults and age-appropriate children receive Houston fluoride treatments on a regular basis, or as recommended by your dentist. While good oral hygiene habits practiced on a daily basis are important, dental exams and cleanings that use fluoride can also detect and treat caries you may not have known existed.
The Fluoride Treatment Process
There are two types of fluoride treatments:
Topical fluoride: The professional topical fluoride treatments at Galleria Dental typically come in the form of gels, foams, or rinses, which are applied by a dentist or dental hygienist during a dental cleaning. This form of fluoride strengthens teeth by seeping into tooth enamel, thereby enhancing the tooth’s resistance to decay. And of course, topical fluoride is also found in common household items such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, and gels.
Systemic fluoride: This form of fluoride is primarily found in shared or communal sources such as tap water or in dietary supplements in food—therefore, unlike topical fluoride, system fluoride is ingested. It is added to public drinking water in order to strengthen the tooth enamel of all the members of the community who drink it. Systemic fluoride treatments in Houston are also available in drop or gel form as a supplement to publicly available sources, and can be prescribed by your dentist or physician.
During a professional topical fluoride treatment at Galleria Dental, a dentist or dental hygienist will apply a highly concentrated rise, foam, gel, or varnish. These treatment options include a more concentrated dose of fluoride than is found in drinking water, toothpaste, or other household items. Before proceeding with a topical treatment, your dentist will consult oral health factors such as family history and signs of present tooth decay.
For patients who require a stronger dose of fluoride than is commonly available in food and water, a dentist or dental hygienist may prescribe home and/or professional fluoride treatments. The reasons such flouride treatments may be needed include the following:
- Deep pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces of teeth
- Exposed and sensitive root surfaces
- Fair to poor oral hygiene habits
- Frequent sugar and carbohydrate intake
- Inadequate exposure to fluorides
Inadequate saliva flow due to medical conditions, medical treatments or medications
- Recent history of dental decay
Along with regular brushing and flossing and eating a balanced diet, we recommend getting a dental check-up at least two times a year (and more if you have persistent pain or bleeding). If you think you’re at risk for dental caries, don’t wait—schedule a fluoride treatment at our Houston dental office today!