What You Should Know About Fluoride Treatment
If you have visited the dentist recently, you may have heard them prescribe a treatment that would make your teeth stronger and less susceptible to cavities. Fluoride treatment isn’t new and is common in most dentist offices. Still, many people have reservations about coating their teeth with synthetic mineral solutions.
To alleviate nervousness about receiving fluoride treatment, we’ve put together some information better to explain the process and the effects of the procedure.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in many foods we eat. It is also present in the water we drink. When you consume food or water with fluoride, it finds its way to your teeth and deposits itself there. Other minerals, such as calcium and phosphate, do the same. This process is called remineralization, and it helps your teeth defend themselves against the acids and sugars that promote tooth decay.
How Do Dentists Apply Fluoride?
At this point, you may ask yourself, “If fluoride is in the food I eat, why do I need a dentist to apply more?” The truth is that some of our diets don’t contain enough foods with fluoride to give our teeth the protection they need. Fruit, vegetables, and seafood are excellent sources of fluoride, but if you’re not eating these foods consistently, your teeth are not benefiting from the naturally occurring mineral. In these instances, fluoride treatment from your dentist is the best option.
A prescription for fluoride treatment doesn’t mean that your teeth are in danger of tooth decay: instead, fluoride treatment helps to prevent the potential for future problems.
Fluoride treatment works in much the same manner as naturally occurring fluoride in your food would, except it’s applied purposefully and in a more concentrated form. Fluoride is applied directly in a gel, foam, or varnish on the teeth via a swab, brush, or mouth guard. Whichever application your dentist decides is best for you, you can be sure it will be appropriately applied to give you the best protection against the damaging effects of demineralization.
Are There Any Risks with Fluoride Treatment?
Too much of a good thing can always lead to undesired effects. The same is true for fluoride. While you want to make sure that you’re getting enough fluoride to protect your teeth, too much fluoride can cause the following problems with your teeth:
- Teeth staining
- White spots on older teeth
- Teeth that are dense but not strong
In addition, too much fluoride in your system can cause other problems elsewhere, including stomach issues and exhaustion.
If you’re looking to supplement your fluoride intake, make sure you do so under the guidance of a dentist. Tell your dentist if you feel unwell during fluoride treatments or if you begin taking fluoride pills.
Should I Get Fluoride Treatment?
Your teeth are constantly at risk of losing enamel due to acids and sugars in the food you eat. Drinking water and eating foods naturally containing the mineral are good steps toward achieving healthy teeth. However, fluoride treatment is necessary for some and a good idea for others. Fluoride treatment will ensure that your teeth continue to have strong enamel surrounding them and help fight off harmful bacteria from forming inside your mouth. While excessive fluoride can be detrimental, the benefits of a supervised fluoride regimen can increase your teeth’s longevity and help create a confident smile that you can be proud of. Contact Grimes dentistry today to find out if fluoride treatment is right for you.
Comments are closed.