Fluoride is one of the minerals that are essential in the development of teeth and good oral health. It occurs naturally in rocks and is an added supplement in community water available in the United States. Due to the many benefits of fluoride, most toothpaste manufacturers also incorporate it into their products. Lovett Dental Sharpstown provides fluoride treatments as a preventative dentistry procedure for both children and adults.
Benefits of Fluoride
Bacteria that live in the mouth digest sugary foods and produce an acidic substance. This acid can combine with saliva and food remains to form plaque. Unfortunately, failure to get rid of plaque by proper brushing and flossing can cause gum infection and damage to the enamel. One of the significant benefits of fluoride is that it lowers the mouth’s pH level, making it unsuitable for bacterial growth. So, it prevents oral health problems associated with plaque, such as tooth decay and gum disease. The mineral also reacts with the tooth enamel to form fluorapatite, which hardens the teeth, preventing damage caused by acidic food and bacteria.
Does Fluoride Have Any Side Effects?
Fluoride can improve oral health and enhance teeth development if used in the right way. But, taking more than the recommended amount can lead to various adverse effects. For instance, it can cause dental fluorosis, which stains teeth and roughens the enamel. This condition affects teeth’s appearance, and without treatment, it may reduce self-esteem and confidence. Excess fluoride also weakens bones and causes joint stiffness, which increases fracture risk.
Acute fluoride toxicity can also cause diarrhea, upset stomach, nausea, and vomiting. Observing some measures can help prevent these adverse effects. Such precautions include:
- Supervising children as they brush to prevent swallowing of toothpaste
- Taking fluoride treatments with professional help
- Avoiding the use of mouthwash for young children
- Using the right amount of toothpaste
- Confirming the level of fluoride in water from suppliers
Other than that, dentists can identify excessive fluoride use and advise a patient on how to reduce and control it. They can also educate on the safe level of fluoride in drinking water or toothpaste.
Professional Fluoride Treatments
Fluoride treatments are among the preventative dentistry procedures that prevent oral health problems. Dentists often provide the treatment in the form of a concentrated gel, varnish, mouthwash, or foam. They may use a cotton swab or brush to spread the treatment on the teeth surface. Another way to apply the solution is by placing it in a tray made using a patient’s mouth impression and fitting it over teeth. After this treatment, it is advisable not to eat, drink, or rinse the mouth for about thirty minutes. This measure gives enough time for the absorption of the mineral, which helps to maximize the benefits.
Dentists recommend getting a fluoride treatment at least once per year, but some factors may increase the number of times one needs it. For example, poor oral hygiene weakens teeth enamel and increases the risk of developing oral health problems. Some people also produce a low amount of saliva, which encourages the growth of bacteria. Other factors that cause the need for more treatments include alcohol abuse and a sugary diet.
Get Professional Fluoride Treatments at Lovett Dental Sharpstown
Proper use of fluoride can strengthen teeth and protect you against various oral health problems. At Lovett Dental Sharpstown, we provide fluoride treatments to boost your oral health and prevent tooth decay. Furthermore, our dentists can recommend ways to help you maximize the benefits of fluoride. We also offer cosmetic dentistry services like fitting mouth guards, braces, dental bonding, and teeth whitening. Contact Lovett Dental Sharpstown at 972.848.8947 today for professional fluoride treatments.