In many places in the world, low level of fluoride has known to be one of the major cause for dental caries and cavities. Fluoride is best for avoiding or reducing the chance of tooth decay for all ages and is also integral in maintaining strong bones.
Fluoride is found in certain mouthwashes, and toothpastes and fluoridated water. Most seafood also contains fluoride because it naturally occurs in the sea. Other food containing fluoride include chicken, canned sardines, fish, gelatin, grape juice and tea.
When fluoride is used appropriately and with the right amount, it is safe and effective in preventing dental caries. Research states that it has decreased the decay rate by over 50%, but only small amount of fluoride is needed for maximum benefit. Overconsumption of fluoride will lead to a condition called fluorosis which is why dentists and experts recommend monitoring of fluoride consumption for individuals and make sure you receive just the right amount.
If you want to provide maximum protection for your teeth against cavities, we recommend fluoride treatment. Fluoride treatment can be highly effective in preventing tooth decay, though many different factors are needed to be considered first before this is performed for you like your age, the risk of developing dental decay, and the different liquids you drinks are important considerations. Water analysis may sometimes be needed to ensure you are receiving the right amount.
What are the forms of the available fluoride treatments?
Fluoride is found in foods and in water. It can also be directly applied to the teeth through fluoridated toothpastes and mouth rinses. Mouth rinses containing fluoride in lower strengths are available over-the-counter; stronger concentrations require a doctor’s prescription.
Here at Greenfield Family Dentist, a dentist can apply fluoride to the teeth as a gel, foam, or varnish. These treatments contain a much higher level of fluoride than the amount found in toothpastes and mouth rinses. Varnishes are painted on the teeth; foams are put into a mouth guard, which is applied to the teeth for one to four minutes; gels can be painted on or applied via a mouth guard. We recommend fluoride treatment every six months. In some instances, especially for children prone to dental decay, we may recommend more frequent treatments.
Fluoride supplements are also available as liquids and tablets and must be prescribed by your dentist, pediatrician, or family doctor.
Who are the best recipients of fluoride treatment?
- It can be prescribed to children with developing teeth, so that their teeth can absorb enough fluoride to make their teeth strong and less susceptible to bacterial attack.
- It can be prescribed to patients that present with white spots on their teeth. The white spots are areas of demineralization and with fluoride dosing, even distribution of the minerals will be assured, so the white spots will fade.
- It can be prescribed to patients who are more at risk of developing caries. Fluoride will make their teeth stronger, so the added protection will help preserve teeth and maintain health.
- It can be prescribed to orthodontic patients. The presence of fixed appliances in the mouth makes the teeth more susceptible to decay. The appliances often trap food particles and when they are not cleaned properly, encourage bacteria to thrive in the mouth. The prescription of fluoride will make the teeth stronger.
- It is recommended for people with dry mouth conditions. Also called xerostomia, dry mouth caused by diseases such as Sjögren’s syndrome, certain medications (such as allergymedications, antihistamines, antianxiety drugs, and high blood pressure drugs), and head and neck radiation treatment increases someone’s likelihood to tooth decay. The lack of saliva makes it harder for food particles to be washed away and acids to be neutralized.
- It is advised for people with gum disease. Gum disease, also called periodontitis, can expose more of your tooth and tooth roots to bacteria increasing the chance of tooth decay. Gingivitis is an early stage of periodontitis.
Fluoride is highly effective and safe but could also be hazardous at high doses, which is why it is important to carefully monitor use of fluoride containing products especially for children. For more information on fluoride treatment, feel free to contact Greenfield Family Dentistry.