Brushing twice a day, flossing regularly, and visiting the dentist every six months are the most common and basic steps to maintaining good oral hygiene. These three steps also contribute to our overall health and picking up these habits from an early age is something that every pediatric dentist recommends to children.
However, in some cases, our teeth require additional protection that we must, such as fluoride treatment. Fluoride treatment has been used to treat oral health issues for decades. It has various scientific-backed benefits, including rebuilding weakened tooth enamel, slowing mineral loss from the enamel, reversing early signs of tooth decay, and preventing the growth of potentially harmful oral bacteria.
Fluoride Benefits for Teeth
Fluoride is a mineral that helps in the prevention of cavities and tooth decay. Cavities are permanently damaged areas that develop into tiny holes and gaps on the surface of our teeth as a result of bacteria, a high sugary diet, and poor oral hygiene.
Fluoride strengthens our teeth by preventing cavities caused by bacteria, which threatens the health and hygiene of our teeth and gums. It is also effective in reversing early tooth decay by preserving the enamel and making it less susceptible to bacteria and cavities for the rest of its life.
Types of Fluoride Treatment
Fluoride treatments are highly effective and safe, according to the American Dental Association. These treatments are available to both adults and children to prevent and control dental caries.
There are two types of fluoride treatment: systemic and topical.
1. Systemic Fluoride Treatment
Systemic fluorides, also known as water fluoridation and dietary fluoride, are ingested into our bodies through natural diets and minimize the risk of dental decay. It is the most effective method of preventing tooth decay, especially in children, because it helps in the formation of tooth structures. The American Dental Association recommends frequent fluoride exposure, and tap water is the most common and safe way to do so.
Tap water contains the appropriate fluoride levels set by the World Health Organization at 0.7 ppm (parts per million), making it a cheap and safe way to get natural fluoride. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tap water/water fluoridation continues to be beneficial in reducing tooth decay by 20% to 40% in both children and adults.
2. Topical Fluoride Treatment
Topical fluoride treatment strengthens existing teeth in the mouth and prevents cavities from infecting other teeth. Fluoridated toothpaste and professional fluoride applications are the most prevalent sources of topical fluoride.
Brushing twice a day is an important rule for oral hygiene, and fluoridated toothpaste helps to maintain that. It directly attacks dental plaque and strengthens enamel. It is also highly recommended for children to begin brushing their teeth with fluoride toothpaste as soon as their teeth appear to prevent decay, pain, and future illnesses.
Professional fluoride treatment is known as in-house fluoride treatment and can apply in the form of a solution, gel, foam, or varnish. A high concentration of fluoride is applied by the dentist or hygienist to improve the health of the teeth and prevent the risk of cavities.
Choosing a Suitable Fluoride Treatment
Choosing the right fluoride treatment is critical for preventing cavities and protecting your teeth. If you use fluoride toothpaste, look for the American Dental Association's (ADA) Seal of Acceptance, as only those have been approved to use. If you are at high risk of developing cavities, professional fluoride treatment is the best alternative.
However, before undergoing any treatment, consult with your dentist to ensure that there are no side effects or risks that could further harm your teeth.
At Anderson Lake Dental Clinic in Eden Prairie, MN, we have the most qualified dentists and hygienists that can provide you with correct advice and high-quality treatment. Make an appointment with Anderson Lake Dental Clinic today to receive the best fluoride treatment for fighting dental cavities.