How Fluoride Treatment Can Help Restore Tooth Enamel
It’s not at all unusual for those who are recovering from drug addiction or alcoholism to have gone through prolonged periods when they did not receive regular dental care and lapsed from good oral hygiene habits. The resultant toll on the outer surface of their teeth (the tooth enamel) may be significant.
If erosion of the tooth enamel has not gone too deep, the tooth’s surface may respond to re-mineralization treatment. If it does not respond, then, restoration with a filling, crown, or veneer may be recommended for covering the weakened enamel, strengthening the tooth, and eliminating sensitivity.
Fluoride varnish is commonly applied to children’s teeth to strengthen tooth enamel and help prevent dental decay. It can also be applied to the teeth of adults. It’s a simple and low cost procedure. Fluoride varnish is brushed on to the outer surface of each tooth and allowed to dry. For a period of at least 6 hours, you will not brush your teeth or consume hot foods and beverages, as these will remove the varnish. During those 6 hours, fluoride molecules will be absorbed into tooth enamel, strengthening your teeth through re-mineralization. The treatment can be repeated every three months.
Use of fluoride toothpaste for sensitive teeth also will help with re-mineralization, as will limiting your consumption of acidic beverages and sugar.
“Make sure you are minimizing acidic foods and beverages, and cleaning your mouth thoroughly after eating and drinking,” says Dr. Jamie Alexander. “Use fluoride toothpaste made for sensitive teeth, and if you can’t brush after every meal, rinse your mouth with water and/or chew gum that is sweetened with xylitol. This will stimulate saliva production and help clear away food debris on and between teeth. But, don’t chew gum for long periods of time, as you will likely develop jaw muscle tenderness. When you read the toothpaste product labels, look for the ingredient amorphous calcium phosphate.”
To find out if you could benefit from fluoride treatments, give us a call at (561) 732-8877 to schedule a comprehensive dental examination and evaluation of your oral health at our office in Boynton Beach, FL.