Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps prevent tooth decay. You can find it in many foods and water. Our teeth’s enamel layer loses minerals every day. Sugar and plaque bacteria form acids in our mouths, which attack our enamel layer. Minerals like fluoride, calcium, and phosphate remineralize that enamel layer. We can redeposit them by consuming foods and water that contain these minerals.
Fluoride is crucial in protecting our teeth from decay and cavities. It makes our teeth more resistant to acid attacks that cause tooth decay. Since fluoride treatments are highly concentrated in fluoride, they can significantly protect your tooth enamel.
Here’s everything you need to know about fluoride treatments before you schedule your next appointment.
What to Expect During A Fluoride Treatment?
During a fluoride treatment, your dentist will apply a high concentration of fluoride on your teeth. This highly concentrated fluoride can come in different forms.
Fluoride is also available in fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwashes, but the concentration of fluoride in them is comparatively much lower.
Your dentist will need a few minutes to apply it. They may ask you not to eat or drink for about thirty minutes to enable proper absorption of the fluoride treatment, so it builds a strong defense against various adult dental problems.
Forms of Fluoride Used
The fluoride your dentist applies on your teeth during a fluoride treatment comes in various forms, like gel, foam, and varnish. Gels can be painted to form a layer on your teeth or applied using a mouth guard. Or, your dentist may paint fluoride varnish on your teeth. They may also put fluoride foam on a mouth guard and then apply it to your teeth for three to four minutes.
How Often Do You Need Fluoride Treatment?
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you get a professional fluoride treatment done by your dentist every three to twelve months, depending on your risks for adult dental problems. Certain conditions make you at high risk for tooth decay, so your dentist might prescribe a fluoride gel or rinse for regular use.
You can also regularly consume foods that are rich dietary sources of fluoride:
- Fluoridated water
- Tea and coffee
- Grapes, raisins, and wine
What Makes You High Risk For Tooth Decay?
Some people may need fluoride treatments more often and may benefit more. Certain conditions increase your risk for adult dental problems, like cavities.
- History of cavities: You might need fluoride treatments more frequently if you get a cavity every one to two years.
- Gum disease: Also known as periodontitis, gum disease exposes more of your tooth surface and root to bacteria that can cause tooth decay.
- Dry mouth: Dry mouth is caused by certain conditions and medications. The lack of saliva prevents proper wash away of food. And as we know by now, acids that aren’t neutralized play a role in causing tooth decay and other dental problems.
Other scenarios that increase your risk of tooth decay include:
- High consumption of sugary and acidic foods
- Wearing crowns and braces
- Poor oral hygiene
- Excessive alcohol use
- Poor diet
Benefits of Fluoride Treatment
Fluoride is not just a one-trick pony; its benefits surpass just preventing tooth decay. If you’re still not convinced of how crucial fluoride is to your oral health, here are some more ways that it helps you maintain a healthy mouth.
- Restores minerals that prevent tooth decay and other dental problems.
- Inhibits the growth of bacteria that cause tooth decay.
- Prevents existing decay from penetrating deeper into teeth.
- Slows the growth of cavities.
- Reverses early tooth decay.
- Prevents gum disease.
- Prevents tooth pain.
Risks Associated With Fluoride
Using fluoride is a fairly safe way of maintaining dental health, but like most other things, too much of it can cause some problems.
If the amount of fluoride used is not monitored carefully, it can cause the following issues in some cases.
- Excess fluoride can cause defects in the tooth enamel that can show up as white specks or brown discoloration.
- Bone homeostasis issues.
- Irritation or allergies.
Although it is very difficult to reach a toxic level of fluoride, acute toxicity can cause:
- Excessive sweating
Fluoride is a natural mineral that is a necessary component in your defense against cavities and tooth decay. Although proper oral care can protect you from dental problems, fluoride’s benefits can’t be substituted, considering its significant role in preventing conditions that later lead to tooth decay. Exposing your tooth enamel to small amounts of fluoride daily is necessary for proper oral care. But getting professional fluoride treatments at your dentist’s office is also highly beneficial.
If you’re looking for the best dentist in Roswell, GA, for your next fluoride treatment, or neighboring areas such as Alpharetta, Dunwoody, Marietta, Milton, Sandy Springs, or Woodstock, book an appointment with TruCare dentistry now! We provide all preventative and restorative procedures to keep your teeth happy and healthy. Call us at (678) 321-7575 to book an appointment, or visit our website.