When you were young, your dentist probably gave you a fluoride treatment. As a child, the goo and the tray they inserted into your mouth may have felt unnecessarily messy and uncomfortable. Have you ever wondered whether the treatment did any good? In this blog post, we examine fluoride treatments, which you may be surprised to learn, can be given not just to children but to anyone who has teeth!
In a world filled with sugary temptations, dental decay is common. One way to help prevent cavities from occurring is through the use of fluoride. Fluoride hardens tooth enamel and makes it resistant to tooth decay. In fact, a fluoride treatment can actually stop a small cavity in its tracks or even reverse the decaying process.
Dentists administer fluoride in two different ways:
Topically (directly contacting the teeth) and systemically (entering into the blood stream).
Fluoride helps harden the tooth enamel and makes it more resistant to tooth decay. A small cavity can be stopped and even reversed by the remineralization process enhanced by fluoride.
- Topical applications of fluoride include toothpaste, a professional fluoride application administered by your dentist (a gel which is applied for 1-to-4 minutes), usually in a tray at the end of a dental appointment.
- Fluoridated home mouth rinses – can be purchased OTC and used for children over 6 years of age and adults who are susceptible to cavities.
- Home care fluoride gels – applied by trays or by brush, these gels are for those who are highly susceptible to cavities.
Systemic fluoride is delivered to the tooth surface via the bloodstream. Systemic fluoride can be derived from a food source, water source, or dietary supplements (pill, tablet, lozenge, drop). Another way to administer it is throughfluoridated water, which can reduce up to 60% of tooth decay.
Adverse Fluoride Reactions
Although fluoride can effectively treat teeth, it can also cause damage, when not appropriately used. Dental fluorosis, for example, is an excess of fluoride intake during the stages of tooth development. The condition ranges from mild (white specks on teeth) to severe (brown staining and pitting of enamel). To prevent such a reaction:
- Don’t swallow fluoridated products. Only a small amount of toothpaste, the size of a small pea, is needed for a child.
- Never administer fluoridated products, especially mouth rinses, to a child under six years of age, or to anyone else who cannot rinse and spit.
- Keep fluoridated products out of reach of children.
- Supervise children when they brush and/or use fluoridated substances.
At your next dental appointment, ask Dr Fred Wong about professional fluoride treatments.
About Dr. Fred Wong of Blue Ocean Dentistry in Glendora, California
Dr. Fred Wong and the staff at Blue Ocean Dentistry use the latest available dental treatments, equipment, and materials – all of which make a marked difference in our patients’ experiences. We are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal dental health. We creatively combine dental science and artistry — which can literally redesign your smile. Since even a subtle change in your smile will help you to project self-confidence and high self-esteem, we love helping you feel good about yourself. We deliver the finest dental care at the most reasonable cost and accept most dental insurance plans as well as CareCredit. For more about the dental treatment plans we offer or to schedule an appointment, call today (626) 852-6999.