A general and aesthetic dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Tocci is the owner of Tocci Dental Associates in Wellesley, Massachusetts. An important component of Dr. Jeffrey Tocci’s practice is preventive care, which includes professional fluoride treatments to help minimize the risk of developing cavities.
The teeth are protected by a strong outer layer called enamel. Sugars and starches combine with certain oral bacteria in the mouth to attack the enamel and pull minerals from it. This is called demineralization, and if nothing is done to reverse the process, it weakens the enamel and leads to holes in the teeth called cavities.
Fortunately, the mouth constantly works to remineralize the teeth with the minerals found in saliva. One such mineral, fluoride, can help strengthen the enamel. In addition to brushing with toothpaste containing fluoride and drinking fluoridated water, patients can undergo professional fluoride treatments for added protection against tooth decay. Performed by a dental hygienist after a teeth cleaning, a fluoride treatment contains a stronger concentration of the mineral than is found in over-the-counter products and is usually administered in the form of a rinse, gel, or varnish. Depending on the patient’s risk of decay, these treatments may be recommended once a year or more frequently.