Fluoride is a mineral that is essential to the health of your teeth and body. Unfortunately, the human body doesn’t naturally produce this mineral on its own, so it is important to ensure that you are getting it through your diet. This mineral helps your body replace the tooth enamel that can be lost over time and is essential in preventing tooth decay. Fluoride helps to strengthen the teeth, making them more resistant to bacterial attacks and acid erosion.
Are you getting enough fluoride?
For most patients in the United States, the primary source of dietary fluoride is the municipal water supply. Almost every city in America has added fluoride to their water in an effort to protect the dental health of their residents. Unfortunately, the growing bottled water industry means that many adults no longer drink this water. Without professional fluoride treatments, the only source of fluoride for many Americans is their mouth rinse or toothpaste.
Professional fluoride treatment can be given as a rinse, varnish, gel, or form. These contain a much higher concentration of fluoride than what you will find in an over-the-counter toothpaste or rinse. Varnish will be painted onto the teeth, while the foam will be applied using a mouth guard similar to the bleaching trays used in whitening treatments. A fluoride gel can be applied using either of those methods, while a mouth rinse is the quickest method of treatment available. In some cases, Dr. Mabry my even prescribe a fluoride supplement in the form of a liquid or tablet.
Who needs professional fluoride treatments?
All children between the ages of six months and 16 years should receive professional fluoride treatments. During this period, the primary and permanent teeth are still developing and these children can benefit the most from professional treatment. However, it is still important that adults also receive professional treatment. According to the latest research, professional fluoride treatments can keep your teeth healthy and strong and prevent tooth decay.
If you suffer from any of these dental and medical conditions, it is particularly important that you receive enough fluoride:
- Dry mouth – a number of medical conditions and medications can cause this. When the mouth is dry, the lack of saliva allows bacteria to stick to your teeth and the other smooth surfaces in your mouth, which can lead to a number of dental and oral health issues.
- Periodontal disease – advanced gum disease can expose more of the tooth surface along with the root. This increases your chances of tooth decay, making receiving adequate fluoride especially important.
- Frequent cavities – adults who are diagnosed with at least one cavity every two years will likely benefit from receiving professional fluoride treatments.
- Dental restorations – orthodontics, dental bridges, and dental crowns can all increase your chances of developing tooth decay in certain cases. Keep your teeth healthy by receiving regular fluoride treatments.
If you are unsure whether or not you are getting enough fluoride in your daily diet, or if you have questions about the types of fluoride treatments we offer, call us today for a consultation. We will be happy to answer any of your questions, in addition to helping you decide which fluoride treatment will best suit your needs. Professional fluoride treatments generally take less than 15 minutes. If you can’t make it to our office as often as you need to, a fluoride supplement may be prescribed.