Fluoride is a substance found in nature that helps strengthen teeth and prevent cavities. For decades, it has been a vital oral health treatment to maintain your pearly white teeth. Fluoride protects tooth enamel and kills microorganisms that cause tooth decay and gum disease. Each tooth’s outer protective coating is called enamel.
Fluoride is especially beneficial if you have a high risk of developing cavities, or dental caries. Cavities happen when germs form a sticky film of plaque on the teeth and gums. Plaque creates acid, which eats away at tooth and gum tissue. Bacteria can infect and destroy the nerves and blood that support your tooth.
Below, we discuss benefits, side effects, cost, and what to expect from fluoride treatment.
Professional Fluoride Treatment
Fluoride treatments are administered by dentists in the form of highly concentrated fluoride in a form of wash, foam, gel, or varnish. A swab, brush, tray, or mouthwash can be used to apply the treatment.
These treatments include significantly more fluoride than your water or toothpaste. It merely takes a few minutes to put them on. You may be instructed to fast for 30 minutes following the treatment to allow the fluoride to absorb completely.
During your dental appointment, give your dentist your complete dental history so they can recommend the best treatments for you.
Benefits of Dental Fluoride Treatment
Both children and adults benefit from fluoride. Fluoride works by replacing minerals on tooth surfaces that have been damaged by germs. It can also prevent cavities by inhibiting the formation of dangerous oral germs.
We have listed below all the benefits you can get from dental fluoride treatment:
Strengthens Tooth Enamel
Fluoride strengthens and builds up dental enamel when added to water, making it more solid and potent, minimizing cavities and decay caused by lost enamel.
Fluoride decreases the pH in the mouth, making it difficult for naturally occurring bacteria to maintain a neutral pH. This causes delayed growth and reproduction, as well as decreased acid and polysaccharide production, resulting in cavities.
Acids created by bacteria in our mouths suck out the calcium and phosphorous in dental enamel as we eat, drink, and go about our daily lives, a process known as demineralization. Fluoride promotes remineralization, allowing calcium and phosphorus to rebuild and strengthen.
Cost-effective Protection Against Tooth Decay
Fluoride is a cost-effective and economical way to prevent cavities and tooth decay because it is abundant on and within the Earth. It is much less expensive than the cost of treating cavities, decay, and tooth loss.
Side-effects of Fluoride
Too much fluoride, like any treatment, can have side effects. Having too much fluoride is a dental no-no and you can get it by overdosing unintentionally or being given a dose that is too high for your teeth. Fluoride poisoning is extremely rare nowadays, but persistent overexposure can impair young children’s developing bones and teeth. Fluoride is not commonly found in children’s toothpaste.
Too much fluoride can lead to:
- Having mature teeth with white stains
- Teeth discoloration and pitting
- Homeostasis issues with bones
Acute toxicity, such as a fluoride supplement pill overdose, can result in:
- Lethargy or tiredness
It may even result in death. Keep fluoride supplements out of the reach of your children at all times.
Disproven Allegations About Fluoride
We are frequently asked about the allegations made about fluoride that causes:
- Behavioral issues
- Neurotoxic tendencies
- Kidney disease
- Problems with reproduction
These studies, however, have been proven that:
- Behavior issues and neurotoxic effects caused by fluoride are not possible.
- Reproductive issues are inconclusive.
- Kidney failure was observed in rats when used in high concentrations not present in water or toothpaste.
The majority of health problems attributed to fluoride arise from sources of water with significantly higher fluoridation levels than those present in our water systems. Most anti-fluoride research was poorly planned and yielded dubious results. Studies that suggested a link between fluoride and lower IQs were not properly conducted and did not account for all other factors.
Do not hesitate to bring up any concerns or additional questions about dental fluoride at your next dental appointment.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps to prevent cavities. It helps to restore minerals to dental enamel and keeps harmful bacteria out of the mouth. Fluoride overdose can have detrimental consequences.
Other body processes and overall health are highly influenced by oral health. To take good care of your mouth, do the following:
- Brush your teeth for two minutes two times a day.
- Floss at least once a day.
- Sugary snacks and drinks should be avoided.
- Avoid smoking.
Schedule dental fluoride treatment today!
Do you need your teeth cleaned? Don’t put off a checkup and risk cavities and gum disease – our Horton Family Dental is here to serve you! Call us to schedule an appointment.