Throughout the course of an average day acidic food and drink as well as the natural bacteria in your mouth, can attack the microscopic mineral structure of your tooth enamel. This process is known as demineralization. If demineralization is left unchecked for a long period of time it will weaken the structure of your tooth enamel and can lead to tooth sensitivity and make your teeth more prone to developing cavities.
Regular fluoride exposure can restore these lost minerals on a microscopic basis in a process known as remineralization. If you don’t have sufficient fluoride exposure in your average day, your dentist might recommend a fluoride treatment. The procedure is quick and can usually be performed at the end of your dental checkup.
Your dentist might also prescribe fluoride supplements as an alternative or in addition to a fluoride treatment. There are several different types of fluoride supplements to choose from. Some of the more common ones include fluoride tabs, gels, mouthwash or concentrated fluoride toothpaste.
Concentrated fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash should be applied to your teeth right before you go to bed. You will need to avoid eating or drinking anything to allow the fluoride to deeply penetrate the enamel. Keep in mind that this is in addition to brushing your teeth with a fluoride added toothpaste as part of your oral hygiene.
If you are concerned that you’re not getting enough fluoride in your average day, or you would like to have a fluoride treatment, please call us at 703.994.4626 to schedule an appointment.