Fluoride Treatment FAQs

Fluoride Treatment FAQs

Regardless of age, if you don’t practice proper hygiene, you will develop cavities. Using fluoride toothpaste can go a long way in protecting your teeth. However, for optimal oral health, fluoride treatments are an ideal option. This treatment is usually done at the dental office during your routine dental checkup.

Although it is a recommended dental procedure, fluoride treatment is not ideal for everyone. It is important to talk to our dentist to determine if you are eligible for treatment or not. In this post, our dental team answers some of the common fluoride treatment questions.

    1. How Does Fluoride Treatment Help?

Fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral, is found in different sources such as water, food, toothpaste, and mouth rinses. Using fluoride regularly can help strengthen your teeth. Every day our teeth lose minerals like calcium and phosphate, which can make the enamel weaker. Fluoride helps with the re-absorption of these minerals and also prevents decay. In some cases, fluoride can reverse mild dental decay.

Fluoride treatment is available as at-home kits and professional treatments. We recommend using professional treatment because the dentist can control the amount of fluoride to use. Using At-home fluoride kits increases the risk of overdosing. You can, however, get the customized at-home trays, which are recommended for post-radiation patients.

    1. What Can You Expect During Your Fluoride Treatment?

Fluoride treatment can be applied topically or systematically. The in-office treatment is topical and involves the use of fluoride varnish, gels, and foams. The dentist will first deep clean the teeth to get rid of buildup. Using swabs or brush, the dentist will apply fluoride on the surface of the teeth. You should avoid eating food 30 minutes after the gel or foam solution is applied to allow the fluoride to be absorbed.

    1. How Many Times Should You Get Fluoride treatment?

The ADA recommends getting the in-office fluoride treatment every three, six, or 12 months depending on your dental health. If you are at risk of dental cavities, then having frequent treatments may be recommended.

    1. Should Children Get Fluoride Treatments?

Yes, but if they are above three years. Children are prone to dental cavities, and it is paramount to protect the primary teeth (act as placeholders) to support their dental health.
Fluoride treatment is recommended for children, but adults can also benefit from it, especially if they suffer from:

      • Dry mouth. Saliva not only contains fluoride but helps to clean the teeth of any food particles and therefore prevents bacteria growth. Having a low production of saliva will increase your risk of developing dental cavities because you don’t have enough saliva to clean the mouth.
      • The presence of dental restorations, such as bridges and crowns, can warrant regular fluoride treatments. The crowns, veneers, and bridges can trap food particles and weaken the teeth.
      • Periodontal disease leads to receding gums, which exposes your teeth to bacterial attacks and makes them prone to decay.
      • If you are undergoing radiation therapy, you need fluoride support. Radiation causes dry mouth and increases the risk of decay. Furthermore, it affects the dental tissue and increases the risk of de-mineralization, which causes the enamel to weaken and be prone to attack.
    1. Are There Any Side Effects of Fluoride Treatments?

Too much fluoride can affect your dental health. You can overdose on fluoride if you use fluoride and also consume the supplements. Dental fluorosis is prevalent in children because they easily swallow the fluoride toothpaste. Fluorosis can cause:

      • Tooth discoloration. Fluoride overdose causes white specks, staining and pitting on the teeth
      • It affects bone homeostasis, the process remodeling and creating new bone
      • Dense, but brittle bones
      • Allergic reactions which cause skin irritation
      • Acute toxicity that leads to diarrhea, nausea, excessive swelling, and tiredness

What Are the Other Ways of Preventing Cavities?

Proper hygiene is essential for you and your children. Ensure you brush twice daily and use an antibacterial mouth rinse. Also, visit the Dental Co. of Leesburg, VA, for your routine dental checkup, and our fluoride treatment dentist will assess and treat your teeth.

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