Are Fluoride Treatments Right for You?

Topical fluoride treatments are a hot topic these days. Most of us get some fluoride exposure throughout the course of a day – most mouthwashes contain the mineral, and you’ll find most dentists recommend using a fluoridated toothpaste. Additionally, fluoride is added to drinking water in many areas of the country, and major metropolitan areas in Ohio have been using this safe and effective tool since 1956.

Fluoride is a natural remedy that can boost your teeth’s resistance to decay. One effective tool dentists have at their disposal is a topical fluoride treatment – that is, the direct application of concentrated fluoride to a patient’s teeth. While opting for this is ultimately between you and your Fioritto dentist, read on for more insight into what this treatment entails and delivers.

What does fluoride do?

Fluoride works by strengthening the enamel your teeth rely on as their outermost shield. Enamel is stronger than bone and made from calcium and phosphate – the same chemicals that are in your saliva, so actually, your mouth gives your teeth an initial layer of protection.

That said, your teeth can be susceptible to breakdown. Acids in food, alongside bacteria, can wear down this enamel over time. Once your enamel begins to break down, it’s only a matter of time before your inner tooth deteriorate as well. Fluoride simply serves as a reinforcement for your enamel – it bonds with the minerals already in your teeth to offer an extra layer of protection.

What happens during fluoride treatments?

The theory behind a topical fluoride treatment is that it offers a sizable dose of the mineral (much more that what is found in your drinking water or toothpaste). During the treatment, your dentist will ask you to bite down on a mouthguard-like device that has been filled with fluoride in the form of a gel or foam. The mouthguard will remain on your teeth for several minutes.  The entire procedure typically takes less than 30 minutes! The cost for preventative fluoride treatments for children is often covered by insurance.

Benefits of fluoride treatment

Topical fluoride treatments have been shown to work in a multitude of clinical studies. According to one such study, children and adolescents were divided into 2 groups.  One group received fluoride treatments, while the other group did not.  Both groups were observed for a period of one year.  Children who had fluoride treatments were far less likely to experience tooth decay – 43 percent less likely, in fact. Additionally, a minimal time requirement and nominal expense will pay off handsomely in the long term by preventing cavities and the need for further dental work.  Lastly, fluoride treatment is a natural remedy – it’s a naturally occurring substance that we can use to help our patients realize their best smiles.

Call Fioritto Dental today, to schedule an appointment.  We’ll be happy to answer your fluoride treatment questions!