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Fluoride Treatment

We ask a lot of our teeth on a daily basis. Everything from chewing, grinding, and speaking to the sugars and acids in the foods and beverages we eat and drink can take a toll on our teeth. These things can cause damage, enamel erosion, and demineralization that weakens our teeth and leaves them more prone to decay. 

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can be applied to teeth as a highly concentrated gel to strengthen, reinforce and protect their enamel, leaving your teeth stronger and more resistant to acid, sugar, plaque, and tartar. 

Fluoride treatment is one of the many preventative care services Castle Dental offers to help improve your dental health. No matter what your age, you can benefit from the added protection fluoride treatment provides. Find out if fluoride is right for you or your child by scheduling an appointment at the Castle Dental location nearest you!

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How does fluoride treatment work?

Just about anyone can benefit from fluoride treatment, whether it’s applied as a topical foam, gel, mouthwash, or varnish, or ingested through a systemic method as a supplement, added to the drinking water, or from foods like tea leaves, dried beans and fruits, cocoa powder, walnuts and grapes. 

Fluoride is often applied to children’s teeth during pediatric wellness checkups and to seniors during routine dental checkups. Your dentist may also recommend a fluoride treatment based on your specific dental needs.

Fluoride treatment from the dentist is a fast, simple procedure. A varnish will be painted directly onto the teeth–ideal for children–while foams and gels are applied using a tray. The only restriction is that you shouldn’t eat or drink anything for about 30 minutes after the treatment so your teeth can absorb the fluoride, and there are virtually no side effects.

Do I need fluoride treatment?

Your dentist is the best resource for determining when and if you need fluoride treatment, but there are factors that make fluoride treatment especially beneficial as an added layer of protection.

A few situations where fluoride treatment is necessary are:

  • Dental Crowns and Braces. The points on the tooth where the crowns or brackets adhere can trap bacteria and be at increased risk for decay. 
  • Dry Mouth. Dry mouth causes a lack of saliva production. Because saliva is effective in neutralizing and washing away sugars and acids, its absence can make plaque build up faster, causing more damage and decay.
  • Frequent Cavities. The best way to prevent cavities is with good dental hygiene habits and regular dental checkups, but sometimes that’s not enough, especially for people who are prone to cavities due to genetics. 
  • Gum Disease. Gum disease is typically caused by poor dental hygiene, which takes a considerable toll on the health of the teeth as well, leaving them susceptible to decay.

 Fluoride treatment is especially important in children for several reasons.

  • Most children are still learning healthy dental hygiene. Because of this, their teeth may not be getting the adequate care needed to prevent decay. Most dental and health care professionals recommend a topical fluoride treatment to give children additional support as they learn to maintain healthy teeth. 
  • Systemic treatment is particularly helpful in children because the bloodstream disperses the fluoride appropriately. Rather than just being applied directly onto baby teeth, the mineral can be distributed to the adult teeth which are still developing in the jaw.

Are there risks involved with fluoride treatment?

Though fluoride is incredibly helpful in preventing cavities–so effective that in 1945, local and state governments began introducing fluoride into the water supply at safe levels that could prevent cavities without harming the public–its application is based on weight, and the mineral can be detrimental in large doses, especially to children. 

Fluorosis is a common side effect of too much fluoride that develops in children in the first eight years of life, while adult teeth are forming. Symptoms may include small dots or streaks on the surface of the tooth, ranging in color from bright white to dark brown as well surface irregularities, and often appear on the adult teeth once they erupt. 

In larger doses, fluoride can be toxic and harmful, inducing symptoms like nausea and vomiting. 

However, fluoride overconsumption is extremely rare, and fluorosis is treatable with corrective actions from your dentist. You can help ensure your child receives the appropriate amount of fluoride by talking with your doctor and monitoring their oral hygiene. Make sure your child is spitting toothpaste out and not swallowing, and use training toothpaste for really little ones, until they can understand the importance of not swallowing it. 

Strengthen Your Teeth Today with Castle Dental

Let the team at Castle Dental help you and your family find extra cavity protection with fluoride treatment. It’s just part of our comprehensive dental care offerings and one that can help keep your smile healthy in between cleanings. And, with flexible scheduling, multiple convenient locations, and a long list of accepted insurances, fluoride treatment is a fast, easy, and affordable way to preserve your oral health. Find a Castle Dental near you!