Fluoride treatments can be an excellent way to help prevent tooth decay and supplement the effectiveness of basic hygiene like brushing and flossing. Doctor Nahel Yanni is one of the most respected dentists in East Brunswick, NJ and has successfully helped patients with fluoride treatments for years. When you come to Dr. Yanni’s office, we’re always happy to help you learn about the different treatments available and how they can help you. So what are fluoride treatments and what do they do for your teeth?
Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps strengthen your tooth enamel. A small amount of fluoride is found in most food and water sources, but the effects of this mineral on dental health were first understood in the 1900s. Since then, it has become common practice for water utilities to add small amounts of fluoride to drinking water, and for dentists to recommend treatments with fluoride, especially for children.
Fluoride works by entering the tooth enamel, or the outer protective coating of the tooth, and helping make it more resistant to decay. Most toothpaste contains fluoride, but this is not always enough to help prevent tooth decay, especially for children whose teeth are rapidly developing. Thus, Dr. Yanni offers two kinds of fluoride treatments.
A topical fluoride treatment is what most people are familiar with. Typically two foam molds are filled with a fluoride compound and then pressed over the teeth for a short period. This allows the fluoride to coat your teeth. Afterwards, the fluoride is rinsed out. This procedure is quick and painless.
A systemic fluoride treatment is a supplement that’s taken internally, so that fluoride enters your system. One of the key benefits of systemic fluoride is that it can help strengthen and protect teeth that have not grown in yet. Since these teeth are still hidden under the gums, it would be impossible to treat them topically. But with a fluoride supplement they can get the same benefits as visible teeth. By starting good oral health early in life, children can often have stronger teeth and less tooth decay for life. Systemic fluoride is gained through tablets or, for very young children, fluoride drops. These supplements are recommended up through the teen years, but even adults can benefit from extra fluoride to help avoid tooth decay.
While fluoride is an excellent tool in the process of keeping your teeth healthy, it’s important to remember that brushing and flossing are still needed to avoid cavities. If you want the best dental care in East Brunswick, New Jersey, stop in to see Dr. Yanni and ask about our fluoride treatments.