Fluoride treatment is one of the most effective treatments that help build strong teeth and prevent cavities. In America, most tap water contains small amounts of fluoride to prevent tooth decay for over 70 years. Studies have shown that fluoridated water has reduced tooth decay by 25%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
This article will discuss fluoride benefits, side effects, treatment options, and recommendations.
What are fluoride treatments?
A dentist or hygienist will provide professional fluoride treatments to improve the teeth’ health and reduce the risk of cavities. Fluoride is available as a solution, gel, foam, mouthwash, or varnish. We use a swab, tray, or brush to apply the treatment at Signature Smile Office.
However, there are various over-the-counter and in-office fluoride treatments. These include:
- Mouth rinses with Fluoride: Your dentist may recommend using a fluoridated mouthwash that you swish in your mouth once a day or weekly.
- Supplements: Fluoride supplements, such as tablets or lozenges, come in many forms. And you should chew or suck them before swallowing.
- Fluoride gel and foam: After applying this treatment, you will need to wait several minutes before you can rinse.
- Fluoride varnish: An in-office treatment that involves varnishing fluoride to all the surfaces of your teeth using a brush. After this treatment, patients shouldn’t brush or floss for 24 hours to get the maximum benefit.
How often should you get fluoride treatment?
In order to maintain good oral health, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends getting a professional fluoride treatment every 3, 6, or 12 months.
Your dentist may also recommend a fluoride rinse or gel to use at home if you have a high risk for cavities.
What are fluoride’s benefits?
When bacteria wear down the tooth enamel, fluoride replaces the lost minerals. It can also stop bad bacteria from growing in the mouth, which helps prevent cavities.
Therefore, fluoride treatments have many benefits:
-Reduces teeth cavities.
-Prevent gum diseases.
-More lasting baby teeth.
-Stop teeth from falling out too early.
Therefore, fluoride treatment is essential for a healthy mouth and teeth!
Are there any side effects?
Like any other mineral and medication, fluoride can be harmful if consumed in large amounts. Therefore, following the directions on any fluoride treatment your dentist recommends is important.
However, some patients may experience minor side effects, including:
Fluorosis is the most common side effect that can happen when your child uses fluoride. Fluorosis makes the teeth look discolored or have white spots on them. Fluorosis happens when a child eats or drinks too much fluoride while their baby teeth and adult teeth are still forming under their gums. Therefore, a child can develop fluorosis from birth to 8 years of age. However, fluoride damage is less likely once teeth have erupted, but it can still happen.
-Allergies or irritation
Even though this is a rare side effect, fluoride can cause skin irritation or an allergic reaction.
Fluoride can be toxic if a patient applies it incorrectly or at high doses. However, this is unusual.
Fluoride treatment for children
Children are most likely to develop dental cavities during their childhood. Therefore, fluoride is good for kids, but its use should be monitored.
The frequency of fluoride treatment depends on the child’s cavity risk. However, it should be repeated once every 3-6 months.
Fluoride in your toothpaste and/or drinking water can help keep your teeth from getting cavities. Your dentist may also suggest more fluoride treatments for your teeth. These treatments can help stop tooth decay and gum disease quickly and easily. Lastly, don’t forget to give your dentist your full health history so they can choose the right treatments for you