What Is Fluoride Treatment and Why Do You Need It?

What Is Fluoride Treatment and Why Do You Need It?

Aug 02, 2021

There is nothing as strong as the teeth in your body, not even your bones. This is because they have the white hard outer covering, referred to as the enamel, that is primarily comprised of minerals, including fluoride. This is why your pearly whites can last for a lifetime.

However, they need some boost now and then to keep them healthy and strong. This is why our dentist offers fluoride treatment to help your teeth withstand the everyday wear that happens over the years.

About Fluoride Treatment

Have you ever asked yourself why tap water has fluoride? For 70 plus years, Americans have been drinking tap water that has fluoride. The whole idea is to strengthen your teeth and ultimately protect them from tooth decay.

Whenever you indulge in your favorite dish, food particles get stuck in the hard-to-reach areas of your mouth. Shortly after, bacteria will collect around those areas to digest the food. When this happens, a sticky substance that is known as plaque forms on your teeth.

As the bacteria digest the food debris, they release digestive acids that start attacking the enamel. This is how you get tooth decay.

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral and happens to be the most effective agent that helps prevent dental caries. Fluoride is also capable of reversing early signs of tooth decay in kids. Fluoride treatment is beneficial to people who are at higher risk of getting tooth decay.

How Does Fluoride Treatment Work?

Your tooth each day loses minerals through a process known as demineralization. This occurs due to the acid produced by bacteria. Fluoride’s main purpose is to redeposit the lost minerals. This is known as remineralization.

Fluoride is capable of redepositing minerals in two main ways:

  • Systemic Fluoride

Just as the name suggests, systemic fluoride strengthens your teeth from within the body. In other words, you ingest the fluoride. This type of fluoride treatment is very helpful for children whose teeth are still developing.

Fluoride can be ingested in various ways, including prescription fluoride supplements, fluoridated water, and drinks, and a tiny amount can be found in food. Tap water is often fluoridated to help children strengthen their teeth while they drink public drinking water.

  • Topical Fluoride

Your teeth could also be strengthened via topical fluoride. With this type of fluoride treatment, fluoride seeps into the enamel after it has been applied to the teeth’s surface. Once it has seeped into your teeth, it enhances the uptake of minerals such as calcium and phosphate.

When the remineralization process occurs, fluoride will be incorporated into your teeth, increasing their resistance to acid. Topical fluoride can be found in fluoride toothpaste, mouthwashes, and gels.

Do You Need Fluoride Treatment?

Children from six months to 16 years need to use fluoride regularly. This is because their permanent teeth are being formed. Also, you can reap the benefits of fluoride treatment if:

  • Your enamel is weak
  • You have a poor diet
  • You have an eating disorder
  • You have gum disease
  • You consume excess alcohol
  • You have poor oral hygiene
  • You have existing dental restorations like bridges and fillings
  • You suffer from dry mouth conditions

How Many Times Should You Get Fluoride Treatment?

As mentioned before, fluoride is good for your teeth. So, besides getting topical fluoride from toothpaste and mouthwashes, you can get topical fluoride from our office. Our dentist recommends that you come in for fluoride treatment once every three, six, or 12 months. How frequently you get treatment will be dependent on your oral health.

What to Expect During Your Fluoride Treatment

You don’t need to prepare beforehand when you are coming for fluoride treatment. The procedure is painless and is through within a heartbeat. This is what happens:

  • Our dentist will dry your teeth to prevent dilution of the fluoride solution
  • If the fluoride treatment is in foam or gel form, our dentist will use a tray to apply the treatment. This allows your teeth to sit in the fluoride treatment
  • If the treatment is in the form of varnish, the fluoride will be painted onto the teeth’s surface using a brush
  • You will be instructed not to swallow the solution

After the treatment, you will need to refrain from eating or drinking anything, including water, for about 30 minutes.

Benefits of Fluoride Toothpaste

Here are some perks of fluoride toothpaste:

  • It can reverse the early effects of dental caries
  • It aids the body to properly use calcium and phosphate because it increases the uptake of these minerals
  • When used at an early age, it strengthens the enamel making the teeth less vulnerable to dental cavities

Contact us today at Garden Lakes Family Dentistry if you need to strengthen your teeth.