At Great Grins for KIDS - Oregon City, our goal is to establish a strong foundation for your child's oral health. A strong foundation can lead to a lifetime of healthy, beautiful teeth. A large part of professional dentistry is preventive
. We offer some preventive services that can reduce your child's risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. As a part of your child's regular checkups and professional cleanings
, we may recommend fluoride treatment
. Fluoride treatment is a proven method of preventive dentistry and an important part of your child's oral health.
Why Is Fluoride Effective?
Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that is found in water and certain foods. It has been proven to prevent tooth decay by strengthening the outer layer of your teeth, known as tooth enamel. Every day, the enamel layer loses and gains minerals through the processes of demineralization and remineralization. During demineralization, the bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack and weaken the enamel.
During remineralization, minerals like fluoride, calcium, and phosphate are redeposited to the enamel by the water and foods we consume. Unfortunately, these two processes do not occur at equal rates. The development of dental caries, or tooth decay, occurs if the rate of demineralization exceeds that of remineralization.
Professional fluoride treatment can prevent tooth decay by supplementing the process of remineralization. In other words, fluoride can make the enamel more resistant to the acid attacks from the bacteria in plaque. In some cases, fluoride treatment can even reverse minor instances of decay
There are two applications of fluoride: systemic and topical. Systemic fluoride includes fluoridated water and dietary supplements that strengthen your teeth from the inside out. Topical fluoride is applied directly to the enamel through the use of mouthwash, toothpaste, or professional treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a high concentration fluoride coating can prevent about 33% of decay in primary (baby) teeth.
Most of the time, we recommend fluoride treatment to prevent problems with the primary (baby) teeth. However, fluoride can also be used to protect permanent teeth, especially if your child is prone to cavities. Recent studies have shown that adults can benefit from fluoride treatment as well.
Fluoride in the Dental Office
Fluoride treatment comes in several forms: foam, varnish, gel, or a rinse. If we use varnish or gel, Dr. Fariba Mutschler will apply the fluoride using a cotton swab or brush. If we use foam, we place it in two trays that fit around the upper and lower teeth. Most treatments usually take just a few minutes. Once the treatment is complete, we will ask your child to rinse out their mouth to remove remaining fluoride debris. Your child should not eat or drink anything for at least 30 minutes after treatment. This allows the fluoride to properly absorb into the enamel.
We typically recommend fluoride treatment for children of all ages. The number of fluoride treatments your child receives depends on the status of their oral health. Typically, we recommend fluoride treatment every six months to a year. If your child is at greater risk for tooth decay, we may recommend more frequent treatments. We may also prescribe a fluoridated mouth rinse or supplement.
Schedule Your Child's Appointment
If you would like your child to receive a fluoride treatment call 971-470-0045, and schedule their appointment now!