Most people wonder if they should continue with fluoride treatments through adulthood. This blog aims to set the records straight and enlighten you more on fluoride treatments. Fluoride treatments can be beneficial to you in several ways.
Fluoride is a mineral naturally found in foods and water. Minerals are added to your enamel every day in two processes: demineralization and remineralization. Bacteria from plaque and sugars form acids that lead to demineralization.
Remineralization on the other side is the redepositing of minerals such as calcium, phosphate, and fluoride on the enamel. Lack of fluoride mineral on the enamel leads to tooth decay.
Fluoride prevents tooth decay by making the tooth cap more resistant to acids. The mineral also speeds up remineralization and reduces acid production in already erupted teeth in adults.
Available Forms of Fluoride
As indicated earlier, fluoride naturally occurs in foods and water. You can also fluoridate your teeth through toothpaste and mouth rinses. You can find mouth rinses with a low fluoride concentration over-the-counter. However, you can find mouth rinses with a higher fluoride concentration prescribed by your dentist.
How Are Fluoride Treatments Carried Out in a Dentist’s Office?
A dentist in Houston can apply fluoride to your teeth as a gel, varnish, or foam. These treatment forms contain higher levels of fluoride concentration than toothpaste and mouth rinses.
Professional fluoride treatments usually require only a few minutes. Your dentist in Houston, TX, will apply varnish using a brush. He or she will use a tray or mouth to administer gel and foam treatments.
Your dentist will require you not to eat or drink anything for 30 minutes after the topical application. The duration allows fluoride to absorb into the teeth and help in repairing the microscopic sites of tooth decay.
Fluoride treatments may be recommended every 6 months, depending on your oral health. He or she can also recommend over-the-counter mouth rinses, gels, or antibacterial mouth rinses. This only happens if you are at a higher risk of developing tooth decay.
Benefits of Fluoride Treatment
The most common benefits of fluoride treatments are, restoring minerals eroded by acids and inhibit the growth of harmful oral bacteria. Fluoride treatments further prevent tooth cavities.
Fluoride can’t eliminate tooth decay. However, it can prevent the spread of decay to other parts of your tooth. Your dentist can recommend other restorative procedures to treat tooth decay. Fluoride is not only beneficial among adults but also children. Exposing children to the right amounts of fluoride reduces the risk of their teeth developing cavities.
These fluoride treatments can also be crucial among people with the following conditions:
- Dry mouth conditions
- Gum diseases since they can expose your teeth to bacteria leading to tooth decay
- Presence of dental crowns, bridges or bridges, since they make your teeth prone to tooth decay
- A history of frequent cavities
You should inquire about the additional benefits of fluoride treatments from your dentist.
What Are the Risks Associated With Fluoride Use?
Fluoride treatments are safe and effective since they are carried out by professionals. However, if you consume fluoride in high doses, it turns to be toxic. As an adult, your dentist will require you to consume only 1.5 to 4 milligrams of fluoride. Although very rare, you can get excess fluoride from accidental overdose or wrong prescriptions.
The effects of excessive fluoride consumption include:
- Pitting and staining on the teeth
- Bone homeostasis problems
- White specks on your teeth
- Weak dense bones
The following are the acute effects of fluoride supplements overdose:
- Excessive sweating
In very rare instances a fluoride overdose can lead to death.
Reducing the Need for Fluoride Treatments
Your oral health plays an important role in retaining minerals on your teeth. You will not need fluoride treatments if your teeth have enough fluoride. At Vesna Arezina DDS, we recommend the following measures to prevent the need for fluoride treatment:
- Brush your teeth gently twice daily using fluoride toothpaste
- Floss thoroughly once daily to prevent the accumulation of tartar
- Avoid consuming snacks or beverages that are sugary
- Avoid smoking or using any tobacco products
- Visit your dentist at least once in six months