The tooth enamel is strong and designed to withstand harsh conditions. However, it’s strength is determined by minerals like calcium and phosphate, which should be maintained at optimal levels to protect the enamel. Without good oral hygiene, the minerals get depleted and your teeth become vulnerable to dental cavities.
Brushing of teeth and gums and regular dental visits are the best way to keep your teeth healthy and strong. Another focal point for keeping your teeth healthy is fluoride treatments.
Fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral, is found in water, rocks, and food. It helps to prevent tooth cavities, strengthens the enamel making it less vulnerable to acid attacks.
Who Can Use Fluoride Treatment?
Fluoride intake is most critical between six months and 16 years as this is when the primary and permanent teeth start to develop. Adults with weak teeth can also benefit from fluoride treatment.
Types of Fluoride Treatments
Fluoride treatment is available in two forms; topical and systematic.
Systematic fluoride treatments include supplements and fluoridated water—substances that can be swallowed.
Topical fluoride treatment, on the other hand, is applied directly to the enamel and it includes toothpaste, mouthwash, and an in-office dental office.
Both systematic and topical fluoride treatment can work to strengthen your teeth. However, if you have moderate to high risk of developing dental cavities, the dental in-office treatment is the best as it has stronger fluoride concentration than toothpaste or mouthwash.
Some factors that can increase your risk include:
- Poor oral hygiene characterized by improper cleaning of the teeth and gums can lead to plaque buildup
- Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia can cause discoloration and cavities
- Lack of regular dental care. Most of the dental conditions can be detected and treated early with regular dental checkups.
- Alcohol abuse
- Poor diet devoid of calcium and other minerals not only affects your teeth but also your bones
- Failure of your existing dental restorations such as braces, crowns, or bridges
- Dry mouth due to decreased saliva production creates a favorable environment for bacteria to grow and cause decay
- Radiation therapy can damage your salivary glands causing dry mouth
How Does Professional Fluoride Treatment Work?
The professional fluoride treatments take a few minutes. The dentist will apply a gel, solution, form, or varnish to the teeth surface using a cotton swab. The fluoride gel is absorbed through the enamel to restore the lost minerals and repair minor cavities. After 30 minutes the gel is rinsed and the process repeated if need be.
Depending on your dental condition, you may need fluoride treatments every three, six, or 12 months. Dr. Vesna Arezina may also recommend additional dental treatments such as antibacterial mouth rinses, or gels if you are at risk of developing dental cavities
Fluoride can reverse mild cavities. So, take the initiative to have fluoride treatment done by a professional dentist.
Risks of Excess Fluoride
Fluorosis develops due to the high ingestion of fluoride during tooth development. The mechanism of how fluorosis affects your teeth is not yet understood, but it is believed that excess fluoride breaks the protein metabolism and affects the structure of the tooth. Fluorosis develops differently but it causes white stains and spots on the tooth.
Excess intake of fluoride can be minimized by using fluoride-free toothpaste for young children as they can swallow it. Plus, you need to supervise your older children when they are brushing.
At Dr. Vesna Arezina’s Dental clinic, we recommend a combination of both the systematic and topical treatments for the best treatment.
You can get over-the-counter fluoride treatment, but be sure to buy products with the American Dental Association’s Seal as it indicates the product has been examined carefully and has met the safety criteria. However, if you have severe dental cavities, then you need to come for an assessment and professional treatment
If you are looking for a fluoride treatment in Houston, call and schedule an appointment with us at Dr. Vesna Arezina, DDS dental clinic for a professional dental treatment to support and strengthen your teeth.
Apart from fluoride treatments, we offer other dental solutions from restorative to preventive plans geared to help you improve your dental health.