One of the dental services that Dr. Roth and our office can provide is a fluoride treatment to strengthen and rebuild enamel. The health of your teeth plays an important role in your daily life. Your teeth impact what you eat, how you speak, and even how you feel about your look. We can help your teeth be stronger, increasing not just your oral health but your overall mental and physical health. We invite you to learn more about the important role fluoride plays in tooth enamel and how it can make a difference.
The use of fluoride began following the observation from a young dentist in the early 20th century. Simply, one town had considerably healthier teeth than another town and he wanted to learn why. It was found that the healthier teeth came from townsfolk who naturally had fluoride in their drinking water. What they didn’t understand then is the power of fluoride in helping the remineralization of our teeth and can even reverse decay.
Today, fluoride is added to the drinking water of many large cities. Additionally, we can perform a fluoride treatment when we see that areas of enamel have thinned, showing the dentin layer beneath.
The application of fluoride is a simple, painless treatment that is completed in just minutes. Though the process is easy, it should be completed under the guidance of a dental professional, such as our staff at Roth Family Dentistry. Fluoride offers many benefits, but it can be overused and applied incorrectly resulting in some negative effects.
In most cases, we will determine if a fluoride treatment would be beneficial during your checkup appointment. Treatment is applied following a dental cleaning. A fluoride treatment can be applied in a few different ways including:
||Fluorinated Gel: The specialized gel is painted onto the teeth and then remains for a short period of time before rinsing.
||Fluorinated Varnish: Like the gel, the specialized varnish is also painted onto the teeth where it remains for a period of time before rinsing.
||Fluorinated Rinse: The specialized rinse is not painted, but instead swished around the mouth and then spat.
||Prescription Strength Fluoridated Toothpaste: The prescribed toothpaste is used at home during your regular brushing routine. Directions will be given at your appointment, follow them as directed.
Generally, the fluorinated application will be administered and then you will be asked to not eat or drink anything for about 30 minutes. This will allow time for the fluoride minerals to make contact with the enamel helping in the remineralization process.
Store Bought Fluoride Products
Many store bought dental products contain small traces of fluoride. We ask that you use a toothpaste with some amount of fluoride when brushing. Some patients may be prescribed a toothpaste that contains higher levels. They will need to follow the directions given.
Is Fluoride Safe?
Fluoride, like most things, is safe when taken appropriately. Under normal circumstances, it is safe to drink city water that has a fluoride additive. If fluoride is consumed in large amounts, it can cause some problems. Most notably, fluoride can cause a disorder known as fluorosis. This is a problem that is characterized as giving teeth white spots or streaks that will not brush away. Additionally, if swallowed, fluoride can cause gastrointestinal problems. We ask that patients always discuss their concerns with the appropriate medical professional.