As the strongest substance in the body, tooth enamel covers the outside of teeth above the gum line. When enamel is damaged, teeth are susceptible to decay because cavity-causing bacteria have access to the sensitive interior structures of teeth. Enamel erosion, or demineralization, commonly occurs with prolonged exposure to acidic beverages, sugar, and plaque bacteria. Fluoride treatments, a common procedure in preventative dentistry, help strengthen tooth enamel and reduce the incidence of cavities.
Fluoride treatments attract minerals that bond to tooth enamel, known as remineralization. By strengthening tooth enamel through fluoride, patients can reduce their risk for tooth decay.
In-office fluoride treatments come in the form of a foam or gel. These topical solutions are applied to the teeth during dental checkups or cleanings. Dentists sometimes prescribe oral rinses with fluoride for patients with significant enamel erosion to use at home.
About Dr. Robert Madden:
Dr. Robert Madden of Denver holds his DDS and MBA. In addition to overseeing his Southwest Family Dentistry practice in Littleton, Colorado, he has acted as a consultant for the Council on Private Practice.