Fluoride is a natural mineral that builds the strength of teeth while helping to prevent cavities and is necessary if you have a high risk of developing cavities. It’s essential to oral health, as it supports tooth enamel and fights against harmful bacteria before it causes infection.
Professional fluoride treatments usually occur in younger patients, until they have reached adolescence. A concentrated fluoride solution is swished throughout the mouth for a few minutes before being spit out. No food or drinks can be consumed 30 minutes to an hour following this simple treatment, so the fluoride can be fully absorbed into the teeth.
The frequency of which these treatments occur depends on your overall oral health and how vulnerable your teeth are in terms of developing cavities. If you drink alcohol or consume drugs excessively, have poor oral health or a bad diet, have weakened enamel or dry mouth, then you have an increased risk of getting a cavity.
On top of dental fluoride treatments, there are other dietary ways to get fluoride into your system, through certain teas, drinking water, infant formula, or foods cooked in water. Having a good amount of fluoride minerals in your body will help reduce your chance of contracting a cavity, but there are other benefits to continuing with fluoride treatments through adulthood.
Children who are exposed to fluoride early on have a lower chance of developing cavities. A study showed that both children and adolescents were 43% less likely to develop cavities with regular fluoride treatments. On top of stopping the growth of cavity-causing bacteria within the mouth, fluoride treatments can aid in dealing with tooth decay. While it won’t remove or reverse decay, fluoride can help prevent the decay from burrowing deeper into the tooth. Consistent fluoride treatments, as well as dietary consumption, will create a stronger outer surface for your teeth. It won’t regrow enamel, but it will help keep it from wearing away.
Nowadays, it’s fluoride poisoning is rare, but there are still cases of people consuming too much of it. In small children, doses that are too high can cause issues in developing bones and teeth. This is one reason why children’s toothpaste doesn’t contain fluoride. Ingesting too much fluoride can cause white speckling, staining and pitting of adult teeth, problems with bone remodelling and dense bones that hold little strength in them. Fluoride supplements are available to help keep your teeth strong. However, taking too much can cause an overdose that results in nausea, excessive sweating, diarrhea, fatigue and possibly death.
The experienced and passionate dentists at South Georgetown Dental are committed to providing patients with the best oral care possible. Not only do we perform general cleaning treatments and cosmetic dentistry, but we offer orthodontic care, oral surgical need and much more. In Georgetown, Ontario, our dental team is ready to take care of whatever treatments you need. Call today to make an appointment.