Do I need a fluoride treatment? Well, this will depend on certain factors. Fluoride mineral occurs naturally and it helps to fight bacteria and keep our enamel healthy. However, because of bacteria and sugar, minerals are stripped from our teeth, a process known as demineralization
Usually, with proper hygiene, minerals like calcium, fluoride, and phosphate are replaced as fast as they are removed. These two processes should occur concurrently, but when there is an imbalance between them—too much demineralization and inadequate re-mineralization, it can cause tooth decay and cavities, thus creating the need for fluoride treatment.
Once fluoride gets absorbed into your enamel, it replenishes the lost minerals to keep the teeth hard. Plus, it helps to prevent tooth decay and keeping your teeth healthy.
Fluoride can be found in food and water. Additionally, you can get it from toothpaste and mouthwashes. Your dentist may also apply fluoride as a gel, varnish, or foam, but these contain a higher amount of fluoride than the toothpaste.
Fluoride supplements are available but should be taken as prescribed by the doctor.
Fluoride treatment is used to restore the strength of the tooth enamel. The American Dental Association recommends fluoride treatments for everyone every three to six months. However, they are most needed by children between six months and 16 years, because this is when the permanent teeth come out.
Fluoride treatment is also recommended for people with certain conditions such as;
Dry mouth or xerostomia is caused by medications like high blood pressure medications. Lack of saliva affects the mouth’s ability to clean out the food particles.
Dental crowns, braces, or bridges increases your risk of tooth decay
Gum diseases and history of dental cavities
Different factors can predispose you to dental decay such as eating disorder, poor oral hygiene, smoking, alcohol use, and weak enamel. Therefore, improving on these habits may help in decreasing your need for a fluoride treatment.
Most insurance plans cover fluoride treatments for children, but not adults. You will have to part with $10 to$30 for treatment. Speak to our dentist to get the full cost of the treatment.
You can get fluoride treatments either systematically or topically. At Dental Now 14 we recommend both, although the topical treatment is best as brushing using fluoride toothpaste can remove bacteria and plaques from your mouth.
Furthermore, dental treatments accelerate the re-mineralization process because the fluoride used is highly concentrated and can penetrate the enamel easily and effectively. The professional fluoride treatments last for a few minutes and are in the form of a solution that is applied to the enamel.
You can get fluoride from diet and water. Using fluoride water is beneficial, although they don’t contain optimal amounts of fluoride. To find out if your water contains fluoride, contact the manufacturer or state health department.
Fluoride treatment restores the tooth minerals eroded by bacteria. Although the treatment may not remove dental decay, it will create a stronger tooth surface that inhibits bacterial growth.
Children who receive fluoride early are less likely to develop dental cavities in the future.
Fluoride is safe if taken in the correct amounts. However, high doses can be hazardous and cause fluorosis, a condition that is common in children. Fluorosis causes teeth discoloration, surface irregularities, and noticeable pit. It can also lead to bone homeostasis problems, lower bone density, and white specks on your teeth.
Furthermore, fluoride supplements cause acute toxicity which is characterized by nausea, tiredness, vomiting and excessive sweating.
Often, fluorosis doesn’t require treatment, but the dentist may perform teeth whitening to remove stains, bonding, crowns, veneers, or use a calcium phosphate to minimize teeth discoloration.
Fluoride is essential for your teeth as it restores the enamel as well as prevent harmful bacteria. However, poor dental health can erode the mineral and affect your dental health.
Although dental treatment is beneficial, maintaining good oral health can help prevent decay. Furthermore, avoid sugary beverages and don’t smoke and visit a certified dental clinic like Dental Now 14 once a year for a dental checkup.