Thursday, April 21, 2016

Are Fluoride Treatments Helpful?

Your body takes in, and loses fluoride daily. You gain fluoride from eating certain foods and drinking water; however, bacteria from plaque can cause demineralization and cause you to lose fluoride. And if you lose fluoride more quickly than you gain it, you are at a greater risk of tooth decay. Thankfully, you can “gain back” fluoride by eating healthy foods and getting fluoride treatments at your dentist’s office.

When is fluoride intake most important? 

While fluoride is important for the health of every person’s teeth, some people have pre-existing conditions or risk factors that make fluoride intake extra important for their overall oral health. These people would benefit greatly from fluoride treatments.

Conditions that make fluoride intake critical include:

  • Dry Mouth - If you suffer from dry mouth, you have less saliva present to help wash away harmful bacteria. 
  • Gum or periodontal disease - This condition could expose more of your tooth roots, leaving you vulnerable for an increased risk of tooth decay. 
  • Frequent cavities - If you’re a regular in your dentist’s office due to frequent cavities, your mouth is trying to tell you that increased fluoride would be beneficial. 
  • Dental work - Appliances such as crowns or braces can increase your chances of tooth decay, and getting a fluoride treatment can help you fortify your enamel to fight against it. 

The benefits of fluoride treatments 

Fluoride intake helps prevent tooth decay by defending your teeth from acid attacks and bacteria. Even better news is that fluoride treatment can reverse existing tooth decay as well. Children with developing teeth definitely benefit from the corrective benefits of fluoride, but adults also reap rewards from getting fluoride treatments. Fluoride disrupts acid production in the mouth, protecting you from dental problems in the future and stopping issues that may be forming.

Your dentist can apply fluoride treatments in a variety of ways, including via a gel, foam, or varnish, or you can use an at-home kit. These treatments have a higher percentage of fluoride than what you would get from a conventional toothpaste or mouth wash.

You can also take fluoride supplements in the form of liquids or tablets, but it must be prescribed by your dentist.

The risks associated with fluoride treatments 

Like all medical treatments, there are minor risks involved. Fluoride in large doses can be toxic, and excess fluoride can cause defects in the tooth enamel. Parents should always monitor intake of products with fluoride by children under six years of age.

Contact us today at our Roseville dental office to schedule a fluoride treatment for your smile. We will work with you to ensure you leave our office smiling!

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