Far too many people dread the words “fluoride treatments” coming from their dental hygienist. However, this treatment is relatively harmless. We can help make the prospect of receiving fluoride treatments easier. It’s essential to think about why dentists recommend professional fluoride treatments, what healthy fluoride levels will do for your oral health, and how simple the actual process will be. For more information about this treatment option, contact Lovett Dental Webster today at 832-932-5584.
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral that helps prevent tooth decay. Decay is caused by disease-carrying bacteria that sticks to your teeth and gums. Fluoride fights that bacteria and even can help repair teeth in the early stages of decay. Fluoride comes in two forms: topical and systemic. Systemic fluoride is swallowed and usually comes from fluoridated water. However, topical fluoride is applied directly to the teeth in forms like toothpaste, mouthwashes, or in more concentrated forms at the dentist’s office.
What Happens If I Don’t Get Enough Fluoride?
Tooth enamel needs to have the right balance of minerals to keep your teeth and gums both healthy and strong. In addition, tooth enamel is continually going through two different processes called mineralization and demineralization. Tooth decay occurs when more minerals are being lost than gained in the tooth enamel. This process is where fluoride comes in. If your body is not restoring minerals at a fast-enough rate, then fluoride rinses and applications can assist in the remineralization process and restore dental health. Fluoride can even reverse the process of decaying and damaged teeth by making the tooth enamel more resistant to harmful bacterial acids.
When severe deficiencies in fluoride result in significant tooth decay, it can impact your overall health. Gum disease is the most common ailment, but when gum disease goes undetected too long, the bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause all sorts of problems, including heart disease, clogged arteries, and strokes.
Who Should Receive Fluoride Treatments?
Specific individuals are at greater risk of fluoride deficiencies. Some of the most common factors that contribute to high tooth decay are:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Lack of regular professional dental care
- Underactive salivary glands (dry mouth)
- Bad diet
- Multiple fillings
However, even though individuals with some of these factors are at higher risk, that doesn’t mean that almost everyone wouldn’t benefit from a fluoride treatment. Oral hygiene experts believe that receiving fluoride from multiple sources is one of the primary ways to prevent cavities.
How Often Should I Get a Fluoride Treatment?
Professional fluoride treatments don’t take long at all, and your dentist will typically provide them alongside your routine check-up. Don’t be afraid to ask your dentist about receiving a fluoride treatment. It’s easy, painless, and shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. The fluoride will be placed topically on the teeth in the form of a gel, swab, or foam. Remember not to eat or drink for about 30 minutes after the treatment to make sure that your teeth enamel absorbs the fluoride and begins the remineralization process. Depending on your dental health, your dentist may recommend fluoride treatments either every three, six, or twelve months. If you have a high risk of tooth decay, then the dentists at Lovett Dental Webster will perhaps recommend some additional fluoride treatments for you to complete at home.
Contact Lovett Dental Webster Today
Scheduling an appointment at Lovett Dental Webster can help you reach your oral health goals. If you have questions about fluoride, tooth decay, or gum sensitivity, our specialists would be delighted to take your call. Feel confident in your smile. We provide a range of services, including:
- Dental cleanings
- Dental check-ups
- Pediatric dentistry
- Dental implants
- Dental veneers