Finding proactive ways to keep your oral health at its peak while also maintaining a confident smile may, at times, need to go beyond daily brushing and flossing. One such way to go is with fluoride treatments. While you may relate these types of treatments to children only, they can also be for adults as well. The question is, however, how beneficial are they, and are they worth it?
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally-occurring essential mineral most often found in various water sources and in particular foods. This mineral is also an important component of your teeth’s makeup, serving the role of helping to strengthen the outer tooth enamel layers and protecting against cavities and decay.
Small amounts of fluoride may be found in a variety of dental care products today, including mouthwashes and toothpastes. While these can be helpful, patients with even a slightly higher risk of tooth decay will need more than these can provide and will benefit from specialized fluoride treatments.
What are Fluoride Treatments?
Fluoride treatments involve a quick, non-invasive, and pain-free procedure that takes ten minutes or less to complete. These treatments can be added at the end of your regularly scheduled professional cleaning, making them convenient as well.
The procedure itself consists of the application of a professional-strength fluoride directly to the surfaces of teeth. There are three different forms of fluoride for these treatments, including liquid, foam, and gel.
- Liquid: Your dentist will use a small brush to apply the liquid fluoride to your teeth. If you have receding gums where the tooth is already showing, the treatment will extend to these areas as well.
- Foam: A mouth tray will be filled with a fluoride foam then inserted over the top or bottom row of teeth. It will stay in place for between three and five minutes before being removed.
- Gel: Application of a fluoride gel will be by small brush or mouth trays.
Reasons Why Fluoride Treatments Are Worth It for Both Children and Adults
As for whether or not fluoride treatments are worth your time and money, the short answer is yes. If you need more convincing, consider the following benefits and reasons why.
Fluoride Treatments Remineralize and Protect Enamel
Loss of tooth enamel is all too common and can lead to dental issues. It most often occurs when acids form due to plaque build-up and then attach to the enamel, causing it to break down. As a result, minerals are depleted and lost, which weakens the tooth.
A topical fluoride treatment can help to remineralize, adding minerals back to help reestablish and rebuild the enamel surface of the tooth. The added fluoride will also help provide protection against any future acid-causing bacteria.
Fluoride Treatments Help to Limit Cavities and Tooth Decay
The application of fluoride during these treatments fills in the microscopic pits or holes that develop during tooth decay’s initial stages. In turn, any current tooth decay is prevented from reaching into the deeper layers of a tooth and causing more severe problems.
In addition, the application of topical fluoride settles into the tubules of teeth, killing any bacteria that lingers there before it can cause damage. Bacterial growth is inhibited, and future cavities can be averted.
Fluoride Treatments Can Alleviate Tooth Sensitivity
As tooth enamel breaks down, teeth can become more sensitive. You may notice this sensitivity while attempting to enjoy a hot, warm, or cold beverage, such as a cup of coffee or a smoothie. You may also be sensitive to changes in temperature or pressure.
Tooth sensitivity occurs when the enamel begins to erode and the porous layer underneath, called the dentin, becomes exposed. The dentin, without protection of the enamel layer, can expose nerves, which increases sensitivity even more. Application of a fluoride treatment fills in the small erosion holes and prevents continuing exposure of that underlying porous layer.
For those experiencing sensitivity because of receding gums which expose more dentin, these treatments will also be beneficial in sealing those layers.
Fluoride Treatments Can Limit Dental Appointments and Expenses
Fluoride treatments are a preventive measure you can take to keep teeth healthy and strong throughout you or your child’s life. As a result, you lower the risk for developing cavities and needing dental restorations. This means you limit the number of dental appointments and expenses necessary to maintain a healthy smile.
While fluoride treatments are highly beneficial to most, discuss the option with your dentist to determine if it is right for you and your family.
Contact Linworth Family Dental to Learn More
Staying proactive in your oral health care can make all the difference in limiting cavities and other dental issues. Fluoride treatments can help with this and may be more than worth it for you or your children. To determine if they will benefit you, contact the team at Linworth Family Dental today.