Fluoride treatments are most commonly performed in children, but adults can benefit from them too. Several factors can leave you at risk of developing tooth decay. Your dentist may recommend...
Fluoride treatments are most commonly performed in children, but adults can benefit from them too. Several factors can leave you at risk of developing tooth decay. Your dentist may recommend the use of topical fluoride treatments to help strengthen your tooth enamel and lower your risk of developing future decay.
Fluoride Treatment Benefits
If your dentist has recommended a fluoride treatment, you may be wondering what it will do to help protect your teeth. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in both food and water that has healing properties to help remineralize the enamel on your teeth. There are several ways in which your teeth face demineralization. From the foods you eat to the acid produced from plaque, fluoride will help make your enamel more durable and resistant to tooth decay.
Types of Treatments
Topical Fluoride Treatments
Topical fluoride treatments are applied directly to the surface of your teeth. In general, topical fluoride comes in forms of toothpaste, mouth rinses, or gels applied either at home or by your dental professional. Additionally, your dentist may recommend in-office fluoride treatments for more effective measures.
In-Office Fluoride Treatments
Your dentist will start by applying a fluoride treatment either in the form of a foam or gel that is put inside of a disposable tray. The dentist will keep the tray in your mouth over some time, often ranging in a few minutes. In some cases, the varnish may be applied directly to each tooth rather than a gel or foam. In-office treatments are significantly stronger than fluoride treatment options found in a store. Talk with your dentist to see if you are a good candidate for in-office fluoride treatments at your next exam.
Systemic Fluoride Treatments
Patients can opt for a systemic fluoride treatment rather than having fluoride applied directly to the teeth. Systemic refers to having the fluoride strengthen your tooth enamel from within the body by way of ingestion. This can be particularly helpful in children as the fluoride within the bloodstream can strengthen their teeth as they develop. Fluoride can be ingested in several safe ways, including fluoridated water, prescription fluoride supplements, and small amounts of fluoride found in food. Public drinking water is the easiest and safest way to help children strengthen their tooth enamel.
Fluoride Treatments For Kids
Water – As previously mentioned, the easiest way to consume fluoride is by drinking water from the public water system. Drinking water has been proven to be a safe and effective way of obtaining fluoride.
Toothpaste – All toothpaste should contain some amount of fluoride to help remineralize your teeth daily. Talk with your dentist about which toothpaste is the best choice for your smile at your next exam.
Supplemental fluoride – Fluoride may be prescribed to you via tablet intake. It’s essential to keep these supplements away from small children as they can be toxic for children under the age of two.
Mouthwash – Using a mouthwash rinse that contains fluoride after brushing your teeth is a great way to remineralize your teeth and prevent future cavities from developing.
Ensuring your teeth get enough fluoride is the best way to strengthen your enamel while preventing cavities, but it should always be used correctly. High doses of fluoride can become toxic, so fluoride consumption in children should be closely monitored. Patients that consume too much fluoride will start to notice white spots or streaks on the tooth enamel.
At Hoffman Dental Care, we offer fluoride treatments for patients of any age to help protect their teeth from cavity-causing bacteria. If you haven’t considered a fluoride treatment until now, contact us today to schedule an appointment. After all, fluoride is one of the best preventative measures you can take to strengthen your teeth and improve the quality of your smile.