There are a lot of myths surrounding fluoride treatments. Some people think they are completely unnecessary, while others believe a regular fluoride treatment completely removes the need to care for their teeth. So what is the truth about fluoride treatments? Keep reading to find out.
The Benefits of Fluoride Treatments
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that the body needs to build strong, healthy tooth enamel. The state of your tooth enamel is always fluctuating. Drinking and eating acidic beverages or having high amounts of bacteria in your mouth can temporarily soften it. However, your saliva then carries fluoride and other strengthening materials to the teeth to remineralize your enamel. Most people get fluoride for their teeth from the food and water that they consume. However, this is not always enough. Without enough fluoride, enamels soften, resulting in decaying and chipped teeth that require extensive tooth fillings.
This is where fluoride treatments can assist. Fluoride therapy directly provides teeth with the fluoride they need to stay healthy. A strong dose of fluoride repairs microscopic areas of damage in teeth before damaged spots can start decaying. This makes fluoride your first line of defense against cavity formation. Multiple studies have shown that regular fluoride treatment greatly reduces the risk of dental cavities, especially in children. Fluoride treatments are quick, painless, and cheap. They can also keep you from having to deal with the hassle of cavity fillings later on.
What’s Involved in a Fluoride Treatment?
There are a few different ways that people can get fluoride treatments. Depending on your needs and where you go for a fluoride treatment, you may get fluoride applied as a varnish or a gel. Fluoride varnish is a thin layer of highly concentrated fluoride that is painted onto the teeth. If you get a varnish, it sets in seconds and will not be removed by eating, drinking, or brushing.
Fluoride also comes in a foam or gel solution. For this type of fluoride treatment, the hygienist will apply it in a tray and have you sit with the tray on your teeth for a few minutes. You will then need to avoid eating or drinking for a half-hour as it finishes absorbing. If your dentist thinks you could benefit from the more regular application, the dentist may prescribe a high-fluoride toothpaste.
How Often Do You Need Fluoride Treatments?
A lot of the misunderstandings surrounding fluoride include ideas that only children need fluoride treatments. A fluoride treatment is definitely an important part of pediatric dentistry since children are most at risk for cavities. This does not mean you should avoid them as an adult, however. The American Dental Association recommends fluoride, especially for those who have a high risk for dental cavities. This group can include those who regularly skip daily dental hygiene, decreased saliva production, a poor diet, gum and tooth conditions, and poor tooth enamel.
Generally, it is a good idea for everyone to get a fluoride treatment at least once a year. However, studies show you should get two fluoride treatments a year to prevent cavities and caries if you are in the high-risk group. Most people will get a fluoride treatment alongside their regular teeth cleaning. However, you can also schedule for another time if you want.
Fluoride treatments are a quick and easy procedure that keep your teeth looking strong and healthy. If you think you could benefit from fluoride treatments, be sure to bring it up at your next scheduled dental cleaning. Lovett Dental Northside regularly provides fluoride treatments alongside treatments like:
Give Lovett Dental Northside a call at 832.734.9452 to schedule your next appointment.