Fluoride Treatment: Purpose, Benefits and Side Effects
Fluoride is a naturally existing mineral that prevents cavities and strengthens teeth. It occurs naturally in the water we drink. Water fluoridation is how we can adjust the amounts of fluoride to the recommended level. Fluoride treatments are in-office treatments done by a professional.
They contain a high concentration of fluoride, which is directly applied to the teeth to improve one’s dental health. It may be in the form of a solution, gel, varnish, or foam. One can get fluoride treatment in two ways.
- Topically which involves specialist treatments or toothpaste
- Systematically the fluoride is indigested from drinking water or diet supplements
Fluoride serves as the teeth’s natural preventative chemical. During your next dental visit, inquire about fluoride treatment near you as a way of preventing teeth from decay and cavities.
What Happens During Fluoride Treatment
Fluoride treatment is usually given twice a year. However, during your dental checkups, the dentist can recommend the treatment. Our dentist in Chaska will first clean and dry your teeth during the procedure. The teeth are dried to prevent the fluoride from being diluted.
The fluoride treatment is then applied in either gel, foam, or varnish form. It can be done using a swab, tray, brush, or mouthwash. After one to four minutes, the fluoride is then spat out.
What are The Benefits of Fluoride Treatment?
The following are the advantages of having fluoride treatment for you and your family.
It Protects the Enamel
Taking drinks with high amounts of acid breaks down your teeth’s enamel. A weak enamel makes your teeth sensitive to hot, warm, or cold beverages. Beverages that contain high amounts of acid are lemonades, grape juice, orange juice, or tomato juice. Regular fluoride treatments and brushing your teeth using fluoride pastes will reduce your teeth sensitivity. Fluoride will protect you from these acids and bacteria.
Re-mineralizes Your Teeth
Acid not only breaks down the enamel but also destroys the minerals in it. Calcium and phosphorus are minerals essential to your teeth’s health. Fluoride treatments reverse the damage by reintroducing the lost minerals back.
Prevents Cavities and Tooth Decay
Bacteria is present in our mouths. When we take sugars and starch, they enable bacteria to produce acid. The acid will weaken the enamel making it more vulnerable to decay. Fluoride damages the bacteria preventing cavities. It will also prevent gum disease, toothaches, and premature tooth loss.
Side Effects of Fluoride Treatment
Just like any other medication, fluoride also has adverse effects. One can accidentally overdose on fluoride by taking more than the recommended amounts. However, fluoride poisoning rarely happens. Overexposure to fluoride can lead to:
Teeth Discoloration. White specks or stains appear on the teeth. This is known as fluorosis. It happens when high doses of fluoride are ingested while primary teeth are developing under the gums in children.
Allergy Reactions Or Irritation. One may develop an allergic reaction to fluoride or have skin irritation.
Acute Toxicity. An overdose of fluoride supplements can cause nausea, tiredness, diarrhea, or excessive sweating.
How Much Fluoride is Needed During Treatment?
Fluoride treatments are recommended depending on your dental health. If your dentist thinks you are at a higher risk of cavities, a special rinse will be prescribed. Contact our offices near you for more information on fluoride treatment in Chaska.
The following is what can increase the risk of cavities
- If you have an eating disorder
- Take a Poor diet
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Poor oral hygiene
- Dry mouth
Specialists recommend fluoride treatment in children as soon as their teeth develop. This prevents decay, toothaches, and other dental issues. Fluoride treatment should be repeated after three or six months.
To reduce fluoride overexposure,
- Guardians should use small amounts of fluoride toothpaste to brush the children’s teeth. For children under the age of 3 years, use a rice-sized amount. Children between three to six years use a pea-sized amount.
- Please supervise your children while they are brushing and get them to spit out the toothpaste
- Do not let children below six years use at home fluoride rinses, such as mouthwash, to prevent them from swallowing.
Fluoride treatments in adults vary. However, our experts at Town Dental – Chaska recommend bi-annual fluoride treatments for adults at high risk of tooth decay.