Dentists use the fluoride mineral in the prevention of tooth decay. It fights against acid-producing bacteria responsible for dental plaque and decay.
Found in a majority of foods we eat and water we drink, fluoride also serves to strengthen and protect tooth enamel, keeping teeth strong and healthy. On a large scale, fluoride is often used in the treatment of community water and has had huge benefits for the community.
However, at an individual level, fluoride treatment can also be used to provide more personalized dental care. Singing River Dentistry often includes fluoride treatment in your oral care treatment plan.
What is Fluoride Treatment?
The application of professional fluoride treatments, which typically contain a high concentration of fluoride, is typically performed by a dentist or hygienist to enhance the dental health and lower the risk of developing cavities.
In-office procedures like these can make use of a variety of different substances, including varnishes, gels, foams, and solutions.
There are fluoride treatments with high concentrations that can be used at home but using them is something that should only be done after consulting with a dental professional.
These procedures involve the use of a fluoride-based treatment, very similar to the fluoride that is found in toothpaste, which is performed by dentists.
On the other hand, the treatment offers significantly higher doses and has the potential to produce the desired effects much more quickly.
Why is Fluoride So Good for Your Teeth?
Fluoridation of community water supplies, which involves adjusting the level of fluoride already present in water supplies, has been shown in a number of studies to reduce tooth decay in both children and adults by approximately 25 percent.
Include fluoride as part of your regular dental care routine so that you can protect the health of both your teeth and gums.
Fluoride is added to the water supplies of many communities across the country in an effort to better the residents' overall health.
There is also widespread use of toothpaste that contains fluoride. Both of these approaches are suitable alternatives if you are interested in applying fluoride to your teeth.
If your dentist believes that you could gain advantages from consuming more fluoride, he or she may suggest that you undergo a fluoride treatment at the dental office.
Utilizing fluoride as a treatment option comes with a variety of positive effects. It assists in the restoration of enamel that has been damaged and stops any further mineral loss from the teeth. It prevents further bacterial damage to the teeth and assists in the restoration of teeth that have decayed.
The bacteria that live in your mouth convert starch and sugar into acids, which then dissolve the mineral components of your tooth enamel.
Fluoride helps remineralize your tooth enamel, which can help prevent cavities and undo early signs of decay. This is possible because weak enamel makes teeth more susceptible to bacteria that cause cavities thus avoiding an unwanted root canal.
Options for Treatment with Fluoride
The typical dental patient can receive fluoride treatments at their dentist's office. Fluoride varnishes, gels, mouth rinses, and supplements are some of the common treatments that dentists recommend.
You should give the concentrated solution a good swish around your mouth and teeth as directed, which is typically once per day but can also be once per week.
These dietary supplements can be obtained in the form of tablets or lozenges, and prior to swallowing, one is instructed to chew or suck on the supplement for a few minutes.
Fluoride is best absorbed by the teeth when it is first swished around in the mouth in a liquid form before being swallowed.
The application of fluoride varnish typically takes place in a dental office and consists of brushing a varnish that contains fluoride directly onto the teeth. This varnish will remain on the teeth until it is either absorbed by the teeth or brushed off after a period of several hours, whichever comes first.
After receiving a fluoride treatment, you should care for your teeth in the same manner as you would after receiving any other type of dental procedure. Below we discuss some post-treatment care tips.
How Long After Fluoride Treatment Can I Eat?
After receiving fluoride treatment, patients need to ensure they are adhering to certain dietary guidelines. Six hours is the bare minimum amount of time that must pass after treatment before moving on.
It is recommended to any patient that they let the treatment take effect for a full six hours, which is not an unreasonable amount of time even though it is not a hard and fast rule. This will help them achieve the best possible outcomes.
What Can I Eat After Fluoride Treatment?
Only foods that are easy to chew and swallow, such as yogurt, mashed potatoes, ice cream, or scrambled eggs, should be consumed during this time. The texture of a food is going to be the most telling indicator of whether it is soft or hard.
When undergoing treatment, it is best to consume soft foods. After all, they are simpler to consume, as opposed to foods that are hard because they require more effort to chew and would therefore disrupt the process.
Potentially Harmful Side Effects of Fluoride Treatment
Although fluoride treatment has many positive effects, there are also some significant drawbacks associated with it that ought to be taken into consideration. Fluorosis, also known as tooth discoloration, has been reported as the adverse effect that occurs most frequently.
Fluoride treatment may also cause discoloration and allergic reactions as an additional set of potential adverse effects. People who are sensitive to fluoride may break out in rashes or have other types of skin reactions.
Although such reactions are extremely uncommon, any professional dental clinic should be prepared to identify and treat them as soon as possible in the event that they occur.
When fluoride is used improperly or when it is consumed in large quantities, it can be toxic. Fluoride levels that are recommended for both children and adults can be found on the website of the American Dental Association.
Due to the potential for ingesting fluoride foams or gels to cause gastrointestinal distress in young children, the application of fluoride varnish is the method of administration recommended.
Would You Like to Know More? Call!
Contact Singing River Dentistry to find out more about fluoride treatment. Reach out to us at 256 - 562 - 4001 to book an appointment.