Cavities are one of the most common dental issues, faced by individuals of all ages. They are caused by acid erosion of your tooth enamel, which is caused by the acids produced by plaque and bacteria on your teeth. While they might be common, they are also preventable. An integral part of preventing cavities is with good oral hygiene practices. However, some individuals are at greater risk and can develop cavities despite good oral hygiene. The Dentists at North Cypress can help to further protect your oral health and prevent the formation of cavities with fluoride treatments.
While cavities are commonly associated with children, they can affect anyone regardless of age. There are a few factors that can increase your risk. Common factors include:
• Poor oral hygiene. This is the leading cause of cavities. When you do not brush and floss properly, plaque and bacteria can accumulate on your teeth, leading to decay and cavities.
• Crooked teeth. Crooked teeth are more difficult to clean and provide hiding places for plaque and bacteria. These substances can continue accumulating, leading to cavity formation.
• Tobacco use. Tobacco products make plaque stickier, which helps bacteria to more easily adhere to your teeth.
• Dry mouth. Dry mouth is when your mouth does not have enough saliva. This type of environment is perfect for bacterial growth.
• Genetics. Some individuals are more prone to cavities simply because of genetics.
Fluoride is an essential element that occurs naturally within your teeth. It helps to keep your teeth strong and healthy. Every day, a process called demineralization occurs. During this process, your teeth lose fluoride and other essential minerals. All of these minerals can, and should, be replaced daily as well.
Fluoride works to keep your enamel strong, protecting it against the acid erosion caused by plaque and bacteria. Without it, the acids can eat away at your enamel, causing weak spots and cavities. Strengthening your enamel with fluoride helps to prevent decay from occurring. In some cases, fluoride can also help to reverse early stages of decay. As long as you replace the same amount of fluoride as your teeth are losing, your teeth can remain healthy. It is when your teeth receive less fluoride than what you are losing that decay is more likely to occur.
Fluoride can be found in many sources. Certain types of foods contain trace amounts. Treated tap water contains fluoride. There are also several types of fluoridated oral care products, including toothpaste and mouthwashes. For many, these sources are enough. If you are more prone to cavities, however, we can provide you with additional protection with fluoride treatments.
Fluoride treatments are quick, simple, and completely painless. Following your dental cleaning, we paint a fluoride gel onto the surfaces of your teeth. The fluoride absorbs directly into your tooth enamel, where it goes to work immediately strengthening your teeth. The gel does not need to be washed off or removed. These treatments are very safe and can be provided at every routine dental cleaning.
Fluoride treatments provide you with an extra layer of protection against the formation of cavities. These treatments are only effective, however, when combined with good oral hygiene practices and routine dental care. Call The Dentists at North Cypress today at (281) 664-8100 to learn more about fluoride treatments and to find out if they are the right solution for you.