For most patients, a fluoride treatment is just another part of our regular dentist visit. But many have questions, or even concerns, about the purpose of fluoride – do I really need this treatment? What about that scary article I saw online?
Fluoride treatments are easy, comfortable, and beneficial to oral health. Here are a few things to know about fluoride’s use, and how it can protect your teeth.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a common, naturally-occurring, widely found mineral, and is present in some of our food and drinking water, and most toothpastes. In most municipalities, it’s added to the water supply.
Fluoride has been used in dentistry since the 1940s to help prevent cavities, and can be administered as a gel or foam, mouth rinses, and in the form of lozenges.
The Benefits of Fluoride Treatment
When we treat our teeth with fluoride, the mineral replaces others that are naturally lost over the course of a day. Our tooth enamel is gradually demineralized by the acid created from plaque bacteria. Fluoride increases our teeth’s resistance to that acid, by replacing the minerals that have been lost in a process called remineralization.
It’s especially important for children under the age of six to be exposed to fluoride regularly, as the protection provided by fluoride is carried over to the formation of adult teeth.
Regular fluoride treatments have benefits for patients experiencing sensitive teeth, dry mouth, receding gum lines, tooth decay, and tooth pitting.
Dispelling the Myths About Fluoride
Over the years some have disputed the use of fluoride, even amounting to conspiracy theories. But fluoride is included on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines as one of the most effective and safe medicines needed in any health system.
Fluoride applied in too high of doses can have negative effects on your teeth, however, which is why it is important to have your dentist apply this treatment at your regularly scheduled visits.
So fear not! Fluoride is not only safe, it is recommended. Haven’t received a fluoride treatment before? Ask about it at your next appointment.« Back to blog