MICHAEL MAZAHERI, DDS
Fluoride is a natural substance that helps strengthen teeth and prevent decay. Dr. Mazaheri's treatment includes applying fluoride to your teeth in gel, foam or varnish form. For most patients, the fluoride is left on for 60 seconds.
We always are asked “Do I really need a fluoride treatment? I thought those were just for kids.” Studies have shown topical application of fluoride such as foam, or in varnish form create a significant benefit for children and adults who have moderate to high risk for cavities.
Adult Fluoride Application
There are several circumstances that warrant extra fluoride protection not only in children but also among adults. Many prescription medications reduce saliva flow or otherwise create dry mouth. A reduction in saliva increases acid production in the oral cavity and increases cavity risk. Adults often experience gum recession, which exposes part of the root surface of teeth. These areas are softer than the hard enamel at the top of the tooth, which makes them more susceptible to decay. In addition, adults often get restorative work such as crowns or bridges. Fluoride can help protect the margins of these restorations from recurrent decay (where restorations develop cavity around them), ultimately protecting your investment.
Fluoride and Braces
Another reason to benefit from fluoride is if you are undergoing orthodontic treatment (braces). Braces make it more challenging for patients to maintain good oral hygiene. Fluoride can keep the teeth strong and cavity-free even with the obstacle of orthodontic appliances. It is often very common to find decay around where orthodontic brackets were placed due to accumulation of plaque around the hard to clean area.
Fluoride and Restorations
Have you had a restoration done recently due to new decay? If you have, you are at a higher risk for cavities. Fluoride treatment is a great way to prevent more cavities in patients who are already prone to them and also helps protect the newly placed filling, crown or bridge work from future attach by cavities.
Fluoride and Poor Oral Hygiene
How is that flossing coming along? It is recommended to floss daily, however for many of the patients If their oral hygiene is not ideal, fluoride could sometimes help reduce the risks of developing cavities between your teeth. Fluoride acts by neutralizing the acid produced by plaque harboring bacteria in the mouth.
Fluoride and Sensitive Teeth
Fluoride can also help with the growing problem of sensitive teeth. Diets high in acidic foods and beverages, general gum recession, and increased use of whitening products all tend to produce sensitive teeth. Fluoride treatments mineralize tooth enamel and reduce tooth sensitivity.
Fluoride and Radiation Treatment
Patients who undergo radiation treatment for cancer also benefit from topical fluoride applications. Radiation damages saliva glands, thus greatly reducing the flow of saliva. Saliva acts as a buffer against the foods we eat and beverages we drink. Once again, less saliva greatly increases the risk of cavities.
Fluoride and Soda Beverages
Everyday Dr. Mazaheri diagnosis cavities developed around the gumline from regular consumption of soda, juice and the popular energy drinks. For those patients we sometimes recommend prescription take home concentrated fluoride toothpastes to combat the development of cavities
If one or more of these conditions applies to you, consider requesting a topical fluoride treatment. Be sure to ask Dr. Mazaheri, a dentist in gilbert AZ at your next appointment whether you might benefit from a topical fluoride application.