How Do Fluoride Treatments Protect Our Oral Health?

Feb 01, 2021
How Do Fluoride Treatments Protect Our Oral Health

Fluoride treatments are routine treatments you can get from your dentist. They help to prevent dental caries hence they are highly recommended for children. In this article, we will learn why fluoride treatments near you are done and how it helps us.

Fluoride is a natural mineral that supports healthy tooth enamel and fights off bacteria. Tooth enamel is the outer protective covering of our teeth. A build-up of bacteria on our teeth and gums form layers of plaque. Plaque produces harmful acids that eat into our teeth and gums, leading to cavities. Fluoride prevents this by strengthening the teeth and holding off bacteria. The earlier a child gets fluoride treatments in Houston, the less likely the chances of cavities developing. Fluoride is a common component of toothpaste and you should use fluoride-containing toothpaste only.

How Much Fluoride Do We Need?

Most of us get our fluoride requirement from toothpaste. This can change if your dentist finds out that you are at high risk of dental caries. They will recommend fluoride treatments in Houston, TX for you. The American Dental Association recommends that you get fluoride treatments once every three, six, nine, or twelve months. It all depends on your oral hygiene. We also get fluoride from tea, water, and fishbone. Babies get fluoride from infant formula.

Certain things increase the risk of cavities. Lifestyle choices like excessive drug or alcohol use come top of the list. People who have poor oral hygiene are at risk too. Proper oral hygiene involves brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice daily. You should also floss regularly. Brushing your teeth is the best way to remove plaque. The friction between the brush and the teeth coupled with the fluoride content of your toothpaste does the job. Flossing is for covering those places your toothbrush cannot reach. You need professional dental care to reduce the risk of cavities too. Your dentist will assess the risk of cavities and act in your best interest.

Diet is important in reducing the risk for cavities too. Most regular sources of water have fluoride. This can be enhanced for people in areas that have limited access to professional dental care.

What Is The Procedure Like?

Professional fluoride treatments in Houston come as gels, highly concentrated rinses, foams, or varnish. Your dentist will apply this with a swab, brush, tray, or mouthwash. They usually take a few minutes. Your dentist will discuss the appropriate method for you based on your specific needs. After the treatment, you will need to wait for 30 minutes before you can take food or drink.

Dental insurance will cover treatments for children. Adults may have to pay out-of-pocket but fluoride treatments are generally affordable.

What Are The Risks Of Fluoride Treatments?

Too much fluoride is harmful to health. One can take too much due to accidental overdose or a prescription error. In young children, this can damage the developing teeth and bones. Many children’s toothpaste does not contain fluoride. If your child is under three years, brush their teeth using toothpaste no larger than a grain of rice. Ensure that they spit out the toothpaste. They are more prone to the effects of excess fluoride. Hence, express caution when brushing their teeth with a fluoride-containing toothpaste.

Excess fluoride can lead to white specks, stains, and pitting on teeth, and dense but brittle bones. These are long-term effects. Short-term effects include nausea and vomiting, tiredness, and excessive sweating.

Fluoride cannot remove decay on teeth but it helps it resist the bacteria that causes it. It also gives our teeth a stronger outer covering. Fluoride limits the progression of decay too. Fluoride treatments can help stop decay from moving deeper into other parts of the teeth. Our oral health is always at its best with fluoride.