The application of fluoride in dentistry is used to prevent cavities. It can be applied as a gel or a varnish and can be found in various strengths in toothpastes, mouthwashes, and in the water.
Mechanism of Action
The enamel layer (the outer layer of tooth) is constantly exchanging minerals with the saliva depending on the what contents are presents in the mouth. When a mineral is absorbed by the enamel, the tooth is going through a process known as remineralization; when a mineral is released from the tooth, it is known as demineralization. When excessive tooth demineralization occurs, a cavity is formed.
Fluoride is one of those minerals that may be absorbed or released by the enamel. When it is introduced in the mouth as a gel, varnish, or toothpaste it strengthens the demineralized enamel layer and makes it more resistant to tooth decay. Fluoride can be thought of a shield that makes it more difficult for cavities to form.
In the event that an individual has numerous cavities or demineralization areas, Dr. Bousaba may recommend the utilization of a prescription fluoride toothpaste or an in office application of fluoride varnish. In the ages of permanent tooth formation we routinely recommend fluoride treatment as it will have a more significant impact on enamel that is forming in comparison with a tooth that has completed development.