Is fluoride treatment at dentist worth it
Jun 26, 2023

Is Fluoride Treatment at the Dentist Worth It?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that has existed for decades. This mineral is found in tap water and some of the foods we consume. Generally, fluoride can be found in 4 main sources. That is:
  • Fluorinated tap water – Since the mid-1900s, most public water supplies in America have been fluoridated. According to the CDC, at least two-thirds of public tap water has enough fluoride to prevent dental decay.
  • Fluoride toothpaste – Most mainstream toothpaste with the seal of approval from the American Dental Association contains safe amounts of fluoride.
  • Fluoride supplements – Prescribed fluoride is usually recommended for young kids and may come in various forms: drops, lozenges, tablets, or high-fluoride mouthwash.
  • Fluoride varnish – This is a gel-like substance with high fluoride levels that dentists apply to teeth following a dental cleaning procedure.
In dentistry, fluoride is known to help fight dental cavities by strengthening the enamel, which is the outer layer of protection found in each tooth. Also, the body needs some amounts of fluoride to ensure your teeth grow to be strong.

What Is Fluoride Treatment?

Fluoride treatment is a procedure where a dental professional uses a tray or brush to topically apply fluoride to teeth after a professional dental cleaning. Most dentists would recommend in-office fluoride treatment compared to over-the-counter treatments because the fluoride amounts applied are within the right doses and concentration. Too much fluoride can cause fluorosis, so it’s always best to be sure that you get the treatment at a dental office for a satisfactory and safe outcome. Dentists offer two types of in-office fluoride treatment, that is:
  • Foam or gel fluoride treatment
When dentists use fluoride foams and gels, some amounts are squirted inside a soft tray that you’ll be asked to bite down for around 2 to 5 minutes, depending on the fluoride type being used. A suction is placed in the mouth to ensure the patient doesn’t swallow anything.
  • Fluoride varnish
Fluoride varnish was approved and released into the market a few years ago, but it is now the most preferred fluoride application method. The varnish used is sticky and thick so that it clings onto teeth for some time after the application. This process will involve a professional oral exam and dental cleaning before the fluoride varnish is topically applied to teeth.

Is It Worth It?

Fluoride treatment can be highly beneficial to anyone who is at risk of developing tooth decay or dental cavities. Tooth cavities usually occur mostly due to years of neglect in oral healthcare. Poor dental hygiene results in bacteria build-up on your gums and teeth to form sticky plaque. Dental plaque releases acids that erode the enamel and gum tissue. This will lead to the enamel developing a cavity which, if not treated, creates the possibility of bacteria infecting and harming nerve tissues at your tooth’s core or spreading to other body tissues. Fluoride treatment at our dentist in 60453 can help safeguard teeth from cavities and lower the chances of developing problems like tooth sensitivity and decay. When the treatment is used in appropriate amounts and as directed, it is safe for all age groups.

The Cons

When any mineral or vitamin in your body is in excessive amounts, it can lead to serious side effects. Some of these effects may be immediate, while others can be long-lasting. Typically, the side effects of fluoride are seen when one is exposed to extremely high fluoride doses through excess supplementation, natural means, or literally from swallowing toothpaste in large amounts for some reason. Below are possibilities of what may happen when you have an excess fluoride supply.
  • Tooth discoloration – There are two types of stains or discoloration you can have on teeth from excess fluoride; extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic stains are superficial stains that are possible to polish off teeth. Intrinsic stains occur internally and can cause pitted enamel and brown stains that don’t respond to whitening treatments.
  • Allergic reaction – Allergic reactions triggered by fluoride are extremely rare but remain possible. Always communicate with your dentist about your medical and dental health history and any allergies you have.
Fluoride treatment is a hundred percent safe and is considered unsafe when availed in large amounts. You can get fluoride treatment near you at Family Dental Care – Oak Lawn or from a certified dentist near you.

Previous Blog Post

Can I Eat 3 Hours After Tooth Extraction?

There are many reasons behind the tooth extraction. It can be due to overcrowding, wisdom tooth impaction, or decay. It is common to have a sore mouth after teeth removal, making eating hard. The dentist recommends waiting for some time to eat food. It is crucial to follow the proper instructions to avoid complications and…

Read More