Fluoride Treatments 101: Everything You Need to Know

Fluoride Treatments 101: Everything You Need to Know

Jul 01, 2020

2Did you know that fluoride can reduce the risk of dental cavities by 25 percent? Probably that’s the reason why dentists advise you to use fluoride toothpaste every day. Fluoride offers excellent benefits, and in this post, we list some of them.

What is Fluoride Treatment?

Although brushing with fluoride toothpaste is beneficial, certain people are still at risk of dental cavities and need fluoride treatment. Fluoride treatment is done at the dental office, and it involves the application of a gel or a foam.

Fluoride treatment is available in two options; topical and systemic. Topical fluoride treatment is the application of gel, foam, or varnish on the enamel. Systemic fluoride treatment includes products that can be ingested, such as fluoridated water or supplements. For the best results, we recommend using both. However, it is vital to consult the dentist before taking any fluoride supplements.

Who Can Benefit from Fluoride Treatment?

Fluoride treatment is effective, but it is not ideal for everyone. The dentist may recommend fluoride for people who prone to dental cavities.

Several factors can increase your risk of dental caries, such as:

  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Age. Fluoride treatment is recommended for children above six years. Children are more at risk of dental cavities than adults.
  • Drug misuse
  • Active orthodontic treatment
  • Exposed root surface
  • Poor diet
  • Dry mouth or decreased saliva production
  • Existing filling

What Are the Benefits of Fluoride Treatment?

Dental cavities are caused when bacteria break down carbohydrates and produce an acid solution. The acid lowers the ph. in the mouth.

The enamel is made of calcium and phosphate, which give it strength. Under normal conditions, the balance between the ph, and minerals– calcium and phosphate maintains the teeth’ strength.

However, when the ph. Falls below the recommended level of 5.5, it causes the loss of these minerals from the teeth.

Fortunately, the enamel can reverse the effects of demineralization using the fluoride mineral in the saliva. Fluoride toothpaste can help to boost the reabsorption of these minerals, which strengthens the enamel.

Fluoride treatment can also help reverse dental cavities. That is why dentists recommend getting the treatment often. Depending on the severity of the cavities, you can come for the treatment after every three, six, or 12 months.

What To Expect at Your Fluoride Treatment?

After professional teeth cleaning, the dentist will apply a foam, gel, or varnish on the enamel. It takes a couple of minutes to apply and the enamel to absorb the fluoride. The dentist may recommend you wait for 30 minutes before eating or drinking anything to allow the enamel to absorb the enamel.

Is Fluoride Treatment Recommended for Children?

Yes. Children are more likely to develop dental cavities because of poor brushing techniques and overconsumption of sugar. It is, however, recommended you use fluoride according to the instructions given by the dentist. It is not advisable to use fluoride toothpaste for children who are below two years. You can use toothpaste the size of a grain of rice when the child turns two and increase it to pea-size later. Fluoride treatments are recommended for children above six years. But, instead of foam and gel, the dentist will use varnish. This reduces the chances of the children swallowing the fluoride solution.

Does fluoride Cause any Side Effects?

Rarely does the fluoride cause any harm. However, an overdose of fluoride can cause discoloration, dense and weak bones. Fluorosis affects children mostly because they tend to swallow the fluoride toothpaste. To minimize the side effects, always supervise your children when they are brushing.

What Other Preventive Dental Measures Can I Use?

Fluoride treatment is one of the preventive dentistry techniques we use to support your oral health. However, on its own, it cannot maintain healthy teeth and gums. We recommend getting regular dental checkups and cleanings at least every six months. Regular dental assessments help the dentist to detect any dental problems early and initiate the appropriate treatment.

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Visit James M. Fieldhouse DDS for more information about fluoride treatments and its benefits.

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