A mineral called fluoride occurs naturally in water and many foods. We lose minerals and we gain minerals everyday in our tooth through two processes re-mineralization and demineralization.
Overview of Tooth Decay
When demineralization is more than re-mineralization, acids attack the enamel of the tooth and cause tooth decay. Poor oral hygiene, active caries, eating disorders, drug or alcohol abuse, lack of regular professional dental care, active orthodontic treatments combined with poor oral hygiene, high levels of caries causing bacteria in the mouth, exposed root surfaces of teeth, dry mouth, poor diet, fillings, tooth enamel decays and if someone undergoes head and neck radiation therapy, are reasons of tooth decay.
Topical Fluoride Application in Dentistry:
After a professional cleaning of the teeth a fluoride treatment is given at the dentists office. A foam or fluoride gel placed in mouth shaped trays called duck trays are inserted into the child mouth for his/her mouth to get soaked in fluoride for a few minutes. After this application is administered, the child is asked not to eat or drink anything for half an hour for maximum absorption.
Systemic Fluoride Application in Dentistry:
Those fluorides that are swallowed are systemic fluorides. Examples are dietary fluoride supplements and fluorinated water. All dental caries can be treated both by topical and systemic fluoride application.
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