Fluoride Treatment 101: All Things You Need to Know
Although we brush and floss our teeth daily, plaques can still buildup and increase the risk of developing cavities. Good hygiene is important, but if you want to prevent cavities and decay, you may want to consider fluoride treatment dentistry.
What is Fluoride Treatment and Why Is It Important?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is found in food, water, and dental products. You can also find the mineral from the professional treatments. It is a natural-cavity fighter and helps to prevent decay.
Every day, the teeth go through demineralization, which is the loss of calcium and phosphate. These two minerals strengthen the enamel, and when they are lost, the teeth become weaker. However, when you brush with fluoride toothpaste, the enamel can reabsorb the minerals. Furthermore, the mineral reduces the acidic solution caused by the breakdown of food. This will reduce the risk of decay and cavities.
When is Fluoride Treatment Recommended?
While dentists recommend fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash to all people, at times additional treatment is needed. The dentist may recommend the treatment every three, six, and twelve months if you have any of the following conditions:
- History or early signs of decay or cavity formation
- People who struggle to maintain proper hygiene at home
- Tooth sensitivity
- Patients with dry mouth. Saliva plays an important role in your oral health. It washes away the food particles and supplies the enamel with the minerals needed to reverse demineralization. Dry mouth can be caused by medication and treatments like chemotherapy.
- Presence of gum diseases
- Dental crowns and bridges
How is Fluoride Treatment Done?
Fluoride treatment is available in systemic and topical versions. Systemic fluoride treatment involves is anything that can be ingested like food, supplements, and water.
Topical treatments are the ones that are applied on the enamel and they include toothpaste, mouthwash, and professional fluoride treatment.
Our dentist may recommend both systemic and topical to strengthen the teeth. The fluoride treatment procedure is done in about thirty minutes and it begins with teeth and gum cleaning. Next, the dentist will apply fluoride varnish, foam, or gel on the teeth, and leave it for the enamel to absorb the mineral.
You are advised to avoid eating for 30 to 60 minutes after the fluoride is applied.
Is Fluoride Recommended for Children?
Kids are prone to decay and cavities because of poor brushing techniques, and because of that, fluoride may ideal. However, fluoride treatment is recommended for children above age six. If you have younger children, you may use fluoride toothpaste according to the instructions given by the dentist.
The pediatric dentist will apply varnish on your child’s teeth and leave it for a couple of hours before rinsing it out.
How Much Does the Fluoride Treatment Cost?
Fluoride treatment is covered by most insurance plans, but only in children. Fluoride treatment for adults may cost between $10 and $30 per tooth, but first, consult the dentist for the actual cost for the treatment.
Are Risks of Fluoride Treatment?
No. Fluoride is safe and rarely causes any side effects. But, when you consume the mineral in excess, it can cause fluorosis. An overdose of fluoride can cause nausea, excessive sweating, tiredness, diarrhea, discoloration, and white specks. It also causes the bones to become heavy, but weak.
Children are more at risk of an overdose, so it is important to monitor the kids when they are brushing. Also, avoid giving the children supplements, unless recommended by the dentist.
What Other Preventive Measures Can You Use?
Fluoride treatment is more effective when combined with other preventive measures like professional dental cleaning every six months. Dental sealants can also be used for children and adults who have healthy teeth free of decay and fillings.
Schedule an Appointment
While fluoride treatment is not necessary for adults with proper dental practices and has a low risk of developing cavities, getting the treatment once or twice a year can be beneficial. Visit KC Dental for more information about fluoride treatment and how it can benefit you.