Common Dental Procedures of Fluoride Treatment
Fluoride treatment is a naturally occurring compound which aids in the hardening of the tooth enamel. It also makes them more resistant to acid exposure and can help to protect against cavities and minimize tooth sensitivity. While it has many benefits, ingesting too high of a concentration fluoride can be toxic, so use fluoride treatment as prescribed when using higher concentrated fluoride treatments.
Fluoride treatment is most beneficial when you stand a higher chance of developing tooth cavities. Cavities occur when bacteria accumulate on the teeth and gums, forming a thin, sticky layer of plaque. Plaque is acidic and thus erodes teeth and gum tissue. If the bacteria from the plaque breaks down the enamel layer, bacteria can infect the nerves and blood capillaries inside the tooth.
Types of Fluoride
Natural fluoride – This is the most common way fluoride enters the body. It naturally occurs in some foods but has been found in higher concentrations in most tap water in the United States since about 1945 when cities began adding it to their drinking water in order to promote healthier teeth in their citizens. You can also take fluoride supplements, if needed.
Topical fluoride – Topical fluoride, on the other hand, is applied to the tooth directly. It comes in various forms, such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, and dental treatments.
There are various forms of Dental fluoride treatment. Some are home remedies, while others are clinical remedies. All forms of fluoride treatment are efficient.
Dental Procedures of Fluoride Treatment
- Fluoride treatment for kids – According to dental experts, children can begin dental fluoride treatments as soon as their first tooth appears. Even so, children below 2 years should use fluoride-free toothpaste to prevent dental fluorosis. Dental fluorosis occurs when children ingest excess fluoride before their adult teeth emerge.
- Fluoride varnish – If you have kids, you should not worry about fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride varnish is applied by the dentist and is safe and effective in preventing tooth decay in children. This option is safe for children since only a minimal amount of fluoride is used and thus minimal chances of swallowing any of it.
- Fluoridated toothpaste and mouth rinses – They are sold over the counter and have reduced fluoride strengths when compared to in office treatments or prescription strength options. Your dentist can prescribe fluoridated toothpaste and mouth rinses with more substantial concentrations.
- Professional fluoride treatment – When the condition of your teeth is serious, dentists often recommend a professional dental fluoride treatment. The treatment session usually takes a couple of minutes. It may be applied in the form of a gel, foam, or varnish. The dentist applies it with a brush or swab. In some cases, it’s placed in a tray inserted in the mouth for some minutes.
Following the treatment, you should not eat or drink for at least half an hour so that the teeth have sufficient time to absorb the fluoride and repair microscopic areas of decay. Also, the dentist may recommend the treatment once or twice each year, depending on the status of your teeth.
Benefits of Fluoride Treatment
- It helps maintain teeth in infants and young children
- It helps to prevent premature tooth loss and dental infections
- It gets rid of the bacteria that cause tooth decay
- Minimizes the occurrence of tooth cavities
- It’s affordable, thus preventing extensive and expensive dental procedures
- Strengthens the enamel by improving its ability to absorb minerals such as calcium and phosphate
Do you Need Fluoride Treatment?
Fluoride intake is very beneficial to children between 6 months and 16 years. During this period, both temporary and permanent teeth emerge and thus the need for fluoride. Even so, adults require fluoride too to aid in fighting tooth decay.
Persons with certain conditions require supplemental fluoride since they are at a higher risk of tooth decay. They include individuals with dry mouth conditions, gum disease, a history of frequent cavities, or cosmetic dental procedures like braces and crowns.
Risks Associated with Fluoride Treatment
Fluoride treatment is not without some side effects. However, the side effects are only present when used at high doses. It’s thus advisable that parents supervise their children closely when using fluoride-containing products. Excess fluoride causes damage to the tooth enamel. The tooth gets white pigmentation; a condition called fluorosis.
Fluoride treatment is beneficial in numerous ways in both children and adults, as discussed above. The treatment is affordable and does not consume a lot of time. York Dental Group offers fluoride dental services across York harbor.