Fluoride Treatment 101

April 1, 2020

Fluoride can help to strengthen your enamel as well as prevent dental cavities. Although it is vital for children, fluoride treatment is recommended for all people.

The enamel is the strongest part of the human teeth and it is made of a combination of minerals such as calcium and phosphate. However, because of our dental hygiene and diet, the minerals can be stripped off. The continuous demineralization of the enamel makes the teeth weak and prone to decay.

Fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral, is known to help with the mineral reabsorption and also prevent dental cavities. That’s why dentists across the globe recommend fluoride treatment for all people especially children (they are at a higher risk of decay).

What is Fluoride Treatment?

Fluoride is found in food, fluoridated water, supplements, mouth rinses, and fluoride treatment. The in-office fluoride treatment involves the application of a solution, gel, varnish, or foam. Although fluoride toothpaste can also strengthen the teeth, the in-office fluoride treatments contain a higher dose of fluoride, hence providing better results.

Why is Fluoride Treatment Important?

As aforementioned, fluoride is nature’s cavity fighter. The mineral helps in the reabsorption of calcium and phosphate which strengthens the enamel. Furthermore, fluoride joins with the tooth structure making them less prone to bacterial attack. Plus, it helps to reverse minor dental cavities.

Can’t I Have At-Home Fluoride Treatment?

You can have at-home fluoride treatments that contain higher concentration fluoride doses, but we recommend professional treatment.

We offer two different forms of fluoride treatments—topical and systematic fluoride.

Topical fluoride treatment is applied directly on the teeth enamel and they come in the form of toothpaste, mouthwash, gel, varnish, and dental solution. Systematic fluoride treatment, on the other hand, includes supplements, and fluoridated water or solutions that can be swallowed.

The topical fluoride treatment is the most suitable as they are done under the watchful eye of the dentist. During your treatment, the dentist will choose a solution and apply it to the enamel using a cotton swab and rinse it after a few minutes. Don’t eat or drink anything for at least 30 minutes after the treatment to allow the enamel to absorb the fluoride.

The frequency of the fluoride treatment will depend on your oral health status, but on average you need treatment every 6 months.

Who Needs Fluoride Treatment?

Children between six and 16 years stand to benefit the most from the fluoride treatment as they are prone to cavities more than adults. Also, it’s during this that the teeth and jawbone grow and using fluoride treatment can help strengthen the bone and reduce the risk of cavities. However, adults and people with the following conditions may need fluoride treatments:

  • Dry mouth increases the risk of decay and cavity. Saliva moistens the mouth and gets rid of the food particles. Therefore, lack or low production of saliva makes it hard for the mouth to clear the food particles or neutralize the acids.
  • Dental restorations such as crowns and bridges increase the risk for decay
  • Gum disease or periodontitis exposes the teeth to bacteria and decay.
  • History of dental cavities

Are There Any Risks Associated with Fluoride Treatment?

Yes. Too much fluoride can have complications. Though its rare, overexposure to fluoride may cause poisoning and harm to the teeth and bones in small children. Furthermore, too much fluoride can also cause staining, white specks on mature teeth, dense yet brittle bones, tiredness, nausea, excessive sweating, diarrhea.

You can prevent fluoride overdose by supervising children when brushing. Also, don’t use fluoride toothpaste for children under three years.

How Can You Prevent Dental Cavity?

Using fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash twice a day can strengthen your teeth. Furthermore, consider dental sealants or crowns for your child. Eating nutritious meals and limiting sugary foods will go a long way in strengthening the teeth and preventing cavities.

Come for Your Treatment!

Fluoride treatment is recommended for all people, but mostly children. Not only will it strengthen the teeth and bone structure, but it will also prevent cavities. If you are looking for fluoride treatment for kids, then come to Islands Pediatric Dentistry. We have a team of pediatric dentists to cater to your children’s dental needs.