Fluoride is a natural mineral found in some foods and water supplies and which strengthens teeth. It helps to prevent tooth decay by making teeth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque and sugars. If fluoride is lacking from your diet, your teeth will be more prone to tooth decay and cavities.
The hard outer surface of the tooth is called ‘enamel’, which contains mineral crystals. Every day, plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth attack the enamel causing it to weaken. This process is called ‘demineralisation’. Minerals such as fluoride, calcium and phosphate are found in some of the food and water we consume and more importantly in fluoride toothpaste, helping to strengthen your tooth enamel. This process is called ‘remineralisation’. Fluoride speeds up the remineralisation process.
Fluoride intake is very important while teeth are developing; it can be taken into the body in two ways:
- In food and drink or in supplements.
- Topically in the form of fluoride toothpaste and mouthwashes, or during a professional fluoride treatment when fluoride is applied directly to the teeth by a dentist or hygienist.
Werribee Dental Clinic offers fluoride treatments to children who already have a number of cavities or who are at high risk of developing cavities. Adults can benefit too. Fluoride treatment is a very simple and non-invasive process to help protect your teeth and is administered by our dentist or dental hygienist.
- Your teeth will be cleaned to remove any food debris.
- A high concentrate fluoride foam or gel is placed into an arch shaped dental tray which is inserted over the teeth and left for the required time. Alternatively, a fluoride varnish is painted on to the tooth surface.
- You shouldn’t eat or drink anything for 30 minutes after the treatment to allow the fluoride to penetrate the teeth.
We can also supply fluoride supplements if we think these will be beneficial for you or your family. When you visit our clinic, we will assess your personal risk of developing cavities and our recommendations for fluoride treatments will be based on this risk. Fluoride is completely safe to use, but please ask us if you have any questions about this treatment.