You probably heard about a certain natural mineral called fluoride before, right? It is the 13th most common element found in the Earth’s crust, existing in rocks, soil, water, and other foods or drinks. Most commonly found at surface levels, it’s so abundant in fact, that some places on Earth have too much fluoride in their drinking while others contain none. Fluoride helps build stronger teeth and prevent cavities.
Every day, the outer protective layer of our teeth known as enamel adds and loses minerals via two processes: Demineralization and Remineralization. First, acids from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth attack your teeth, causing the enamel to lose minerals (demineralization). Then, when we eat or drink something and minerals like fluoride, phosphate, or calcium are redeposited to the enamel, that’s remineralization. You don’t want too much demineralization, however, because too little remineralization won’t heal the enamel and can lead to tooth decay.
In addition to combating the bacteria threatening your teeth and gums, fluoride repairs the teeth and enamel on a microscopic level. It can even halt the advance of tooth decay and diseases in their early stages. Having become a necessity in oral health for decades, we here at Raptou Family Dental always recommend brushing with a fluoride-containing toothpaste for your best chance at keeping your smile in beautiful, healthy shape. For any questions about fluoride treatments or how you can set up an appointment, please call (614) 427-0449.
Types of Fluoride
Fluoride can be found in several food, drinks, water, and toothpaste. You can also use mouth rinses with lower levels of it, which are available at most over-the-counter stores, but you’ll need a doctor’s prescription for higher concentrations of strength.
How Much Fluoride Do You Need?
The American Dental Association (ADA) generally recommends a professional fluoride treatment between every three, six, or twelve months, depending on your current dental health. If you’re not practicing good oral habits, however, Dr. Raptou might also prescribe you special fluoride mouth rinse for daily use at home.
When Is It Necessary to Get Fluoride?
Kids are normally first exposed to fluoride between 6 months to 16 years of age, during the years when your adult teeth begin erupting to replace the temporary teeth. Adults can benefit from it just as much though, as fighting tooth decay is a lifetime commitment.
Professional Treatment Options
Our office offers a variety of choices for you. Dr. Raptou may apply fluoride to you or your child’s teeth in a gel, foam, or varnish form (These have higher levels of fluoride than mouth rinses or toothpaste). You can have a foam guard is placed in your mouth, a varnish painted onto the teeth, or a gel applied through either method. Alternatively, fluoride supplements in liquid or tablet form can be provided, but you’ll require a prescription. We’ll also need your full medical history to determine the best method for your case.
Are Fluoride Treatments Safe?
Professional fluoride treatments are only available with a prescription. Scientific studies that support the fluoride dose in a professional therapy attest to its efficacy and safety. If taken everyday at home, this dose wouldn't be safe. However, a professional fluoride treatment from a family dentist is safe and effective when administered at intervals as little as three months apart, according to research.
It is a Painless Procedure
Getting a fluoride treatment professionally may be the easiest dental procedure you've ever had. Using a little brush, fluoride varnish is applied to the teeth. Sometimes fluoride is applied to the teeth for one to two minutes using a tray loaded with fluoride gel or foam.
Helps Fight Cavities
Cavities develop when demineralization occurs more quickly than remineralization. A cavity is referred to as an incipient lesion when it is still developing. Professional fluoridation treatments and great at-home dental hygiene can stop or at least delay the development of these early cavities.
Fluoride accelerates remineralization, which stops cavities from developing. Fluoride speeds up the process of remineralization. Our saliva contains minerals that help to remineralize, harden, and reinforce the enamel. Calcium and phosphate are two naturally occurring minerals found in human saliva. The process of remineralizing enamel is ongoing.
Fluoride Treatment is Worth the Cost
The truth is that any amount you spend on a topical fluoride treatment is worthwhile. Comparatively speaking, it is far less expensive than the expense of treating the tooth decay it can stop. A professional fluoride treatment helps your body naturally fight cavities as a preventative therapy. You may save money on dental treatment over the course of your lifetime by preventing tooth decay.
Fluoride Treatment is for Everyone
Fluoride treatment is for everyone. Patients with special needs who are unable to keep their teeth clean are more likely to develop cavities. Professional fluoride treatments have a significant benefit in reducing this risk. Professional fluoride treatments are also beneficial for older people who may struggle with dental hygiene. Elderly individuals can be more likely to get cavities because they may be less able to remove plaque from their teeth properly. A professional fluoride treatment given to the teeth every three to six months lowers this risk.
Professional fluoride treatment procedures often only last a few minutes. The fluoride may be presented as gel, foam, or varnish. It can be administered using a brush or swab or put on a tray and kept in the mouth for a short period.
Can I Eat After Fluoride Treatment?
Don't eat or drink for at least 30 minutes after the treatment to give your teeth time to absorb the fluoride and aid in repairing microscopic spots of decay. Fluoride treatments are recommended every six to 12 months, depending on the state of your dental health.
Questions? Give Us a Call!
If you have questions about fluoride treatment, feel free to give us a call at (614) 427-0449, or to schedule your next appointment with us.