Fluoride

B. Jeffrey Kay, DDS -  - General Dentist

B. Jeffrey Kay, DDS

General Dentist and Cosmetic Dentist located in San Mateo, CA

Fluoride is an important mineral that can help protect your teeth against cavities. At the San Mateo, California, office, B. Jeffrey Kay, DDS Dentistry offers fluoride treatments. After a full evaluation of your teeth and gums, Dr. Kay can determine if you would benefit from tooth-strengthening fluoride treatments. Call B. Jeffrey Kay, DDS Dentistry or schedule an appointment online to learn more.

Fluoride Q & A

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a natural mineral found in your bones and teeth that strengthens your enamel — the thin, hard layer on the outside of your tooth. Enamel protects your teeth from damage and decay. Thick enamel also helps your teeth maintain a bright, white appearance.

While water and many of the foods you eat can contain fluoride, it works best when applied directly to your teeth. 

Who needs fluoride treatments?

Fluoride remineralizes tooth enamel prone to decay. If your teeth are vulnerable to cavities or you have naturally thin enamel, Dr. Kay may recommend a fluoride treatment.

Many underlying factors can increase your risk of cavities, including:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • A diet high in sugar and starches
  • Eating disorders
  • Dry mouth
  • Thin or weak enamel
  • Alcohol or drug use

Because fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, many children with developing teeth can also benefit from fluoride treatments. Experts also recommend that children between the ages of three and six use fluoride toothpaste to protect their teeth from decay.

How is fluoride applied to teeth?

Professional fluoride treatments come in many forms, including gels, foams, varnishes, and rinses. After evaluating your teeth and oral health, Dr. Kay can determine the right type of fluoride treatment for you. He may apply the treatment with a special swab, brush, or tray.

These treatments, which are highly concentrated compared to over-the-counter (OTC) fluoride rinses and toothpastes, take just a few minutes to apply. To give the treatment enough time to absorb into your tooth enamel, Dr. Kay may recommend that you avoid eating and drinking for at least 30 minutes.

How often do I need a fluoride treatment?

Depending on your age, oral health, and medical history, Dr. Kay can apply fluoride treatments at your bi-annual dental exams. These regular treatments can strengthen your enamel.

It’s important to note that fluoride cannot treat existing cavities, so it’s important to practice good oral hygiene at home. Brush and floss at least twice a day, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular teeth cleanings with Dr. Kay twice a year.

To find out if fluoride treatment is right for you, call B. Jeffrey Kay, DDS Dentistry or schedule an appointment online today.