Fluoride Treatments and Their Benefits
Fluoride treatments can help in strengthening your teeth. They can prevent further development of tooth decay. Fluoride, per se, is an occurring element found in water sources. It can also be obtained through some foods, like fish, eggs, tea, etc.
In some areas in the world, fluoride is added to water sources. Other brands of toothpastes and professionals treatments contain high amount of fluoride for maximum protection.
What Are Fluoride Treatments?
They are used to strengthen teeth while speeding up remineralization.
The outer layer of your tooth is packed with mineral crystals that can be lost. If there is a loss of minerals in your enamel, it is called demineralization. Gaining new minerals is known as remineralization.
Demineralization starts if bacteria form a plaque on your teeth. They feed on the sugar that comes in your mouth from the food that you eat. They also eat the acids produced by those sugars. When the acid dissolves in your teeth, it forms crystals.
It requires the process of remineralization to rebuild the enamel. This process needs some minerals, like fluoride and calcium, to be deposited in the enamel to strengthen teeth.
However, if there is too much minerals lost and not enough repair of the enamel, you may experience tooth decay.
Fluoride treatments can be obtained from a dental office. When you brush your teeth with fluoride-rich toothpaste, your teeth will absorb the mineral to encourage remineralization. The use of fluoridated water may also help.
Topical fluorides may also help. It is a way of introducing fluoride through external contact with the tooth’s outside surface.
Fluoride tablets may also be given. The fluoride in these tablets goes to the bloodstream and be part of your teeth. It strengthens your teeth so it will be more resistant for acid buildup, thereby, preventing destruction of enamel.
Dental fluoride treatments given at your dentist’s clinic are said to reduce your risk of getting cavities. Every six months, your dentist may recommend having them.
Some mouth rinses may also help reduce your risk of decay.
They are usually given to patients. But these are not recommended to adults. Rather, they are given to children who are 6 months to 16 years old.
Risk of Tooth Decay
Anyone can be at risk of tooth decay. However, your risk is higher if you have already a history of cavities. If you do not visit your dentist frequently or if you have poor dental hygiene, then you should consider getting fluoride treatments as your risk of tooth decay is significantly high.
Frequent snacking also encourages demineralization and puts you at risk of tooth decay.
If you take medicines for high blood pressure, anxiety or depression, your teeth may be filled with cavities as these drugs can cause dry mouth. And if your mouth does not have enough saliva, your tooth decay worsens quickly.
How They Are Done?
When you compare the fluoride treatments given by your dental office from the OTC fluoride toothpaste or mouth rinse, the former offers more fluoride. And dental-office fluoride treatments will also stay in your teeth longer and their composition is also different.
One of the most popular fluoride treatments is neutral sodium. It is usually given to patients with dry mouth. Patients with tooth-colored crowns or bridges may also benefit more from this treatment.
During fluoride treatments, your dentist will apply a gel to your teeth. The gel contains high amount of fluoride. It is dried so it will not get diluted.
Or it can also be applied as a foam. In this method, a tray is filled with fluoride and it is worn as a mouth guard for up to four minutes.
Your dentist may also use fluoride varnish that is painted on teeth to strengthen them. One of its advantages over other treatments is that it contains high amount of fluoride
After fluoride treatments from your dentist’s clinic, it is important that you do not eat, drink or smoke for half an hour. This will ensure that the fluoride stays intact in your teeth for a longer period of time.
The use of fluoride treatments are proven to be beneficial to be given to both adults and children. They are essential in fighting decay and strengthening your teeth.