Feb 09, 2024
The Power of Fluoride Treatment
Fluoride treatment is a dental procedure that you can get to protect your teeth from oral issues like tooth decay and cavities.
If you’re thinking about getting treated, it’s important to understand what goes into the procedure. Knowing the benefits and potential downsides of the procedure will help you determine whether or not fluoride treatment is for you.
In this blog post, we’ll delve into the intricacies of fluoride itself. We’ll explore what it is, how it relates to our oral health, and how we can use it to our advantage. We’ll also discuss how fluoride treatment works and outline the myriad of benefits that it offers.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is often found in soil, water, and the air. Due to its prevalence in nature, we are exposed to small amounts of this mineral on a daily basis when we breathe, drink water, or eat food.
Luckily, fluoride offers plenty of benefits to our overall oral health. It can help prevent tooth decay by strengthening enamel and making teeth more resistant to staining or acid attacks. It can even help repair holes on the surface of your teeth, stopping them from developing into serious cavities.
Though fluoride is easily found in nature, small amounts of it is still included in products like toothpaste, mouthwash, and drinking water. The purpose of this is to further enhance its positive effects on our oral health.
What is Fluoride Treatment?
To better understand the importance of fluoride treatment, we first need to talk about how our teeth interact with minerals like calcium and fluoride.
Remineralisation is our body’s natural way of maintaining and repairing our teeth. It does this by taking in beneficial minerals (e.g., calcium and phosphate minerals) from our saliva and depositing them in the enamel, which is the protective outer layer of our teeth.
As we consume foods and drinks, our teeth will start to lose these beneficial minerals, leading to the process called demineralisation.
If our teeth lose more minerals through demineralisation than they gain through remineralisation, cavities will begin to occur. This can lead to holes in your teeth and increased sensitivity.
This is where fluoride treatment comes in. The primary goal of fluoride treatment is to combat demineralisation and help your teeth develop a strong protective enamel. The procedure involves the application of fluoride directly to the teeth. This can be administered in various forms such as foam, varnish, or gel.
Other Benefits of Fluoride Treatment
- Preventive Measure for Dental Appliances
For those with dental appliances like crowns, braces, or dentures, fluoride treatment can serve as a preventive measure. Though these appliances are generally for the betterment of your oral health, they can also increase the risk of cavities. With braces, for instance, bits and pieces of door can easily get stuck in the brackets and bands. This then encourages the spread of harmful bacteria and could lead to dental issues.
Through fluoride treatment, you can significantly reduce the risk of this happening. an essential part of maintaining oral health.
- Addressing Dry Mouth
A dry mouth can be detrimental to oral health as it reduces saliva flow. As mentioned before, saliva contains beneficial minerals integral to the process of remineralisation. Without these minerals, the risk of cavities can increase significantly.
According to one study, when one uses a dental product with a higher fluoride concentration, it may lead to increased saliva flow.
Potential Downsides of Fluoride Treatment
While fluoride treatment is generally safe and beneficial, some individuals may experience mild side effects. These can include nausea, upset stomach, or, in rare cases, an allergic reaction. In addition, excess exposure to fluoride may also lead to defects in the outer layers of your teeth.
To make sure you don’t run into such issues, it’s essential to consult with a dental professional to determine the suitability of fluoride treatment for your particular circumstances.
Duration of Fluoride Treatment
The duration of fluoride treatment can vary based on the form in which it is administered. In-office treatments typically take around 30 minutes, including the application and waiting time for the fluoride to take effect. At-home treatments, such as fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash, should be a part of your daily oral hygiene routine. These products usually require consistent use for optimal effectiveness.
By understanding the role of fluoride and its extensive benefits, individuals can make informed decisions to protect their smiles. If you think this treatment is for you, make sure you talk to your dentist so that the mineral can be administered properly and to prevent serious side effects from occurring.