Fluoride is a nutrient that is necessary to help patients develop and maintain strong, healthy smiles for life. When it comes to kids who are still learning to care for their smiles, patients who struggle with chronic tooth decay, sensitive teeth, oral or topical fluoride therapy may be a great way to improve the overall strength of tooth enamel. In this post, we will discuss some of the great benefits of fluoride therapy, and when you can benefit from these preventive treatments.
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is fundamentally a mineral compound that can attach itself to the tooth enamel, strengthening teeth by replacing weaker hydroxyl molecules of tooth enamel. Acidic plaque produced by oral bacteria attack the teeth, so using fluoridated toothpaste and fluoride treatments can prevent further damage and the weakening of the tooth enamel.
Should I get a fluoride treatment?
Fluoride treatments are very beneficial in a wide range of situations, including enhancing oral health for:
- Young kids who are still growing their primary or adult teeth and need fluoride supplements if they don’t receive enough fluoride from tap water or their diets.
- Kids who have acquired their primary or adult teeth may still need topical fluoride treatments during regular dental exams to help them preserve optimal oral health.
- Patients with sensitive teeth may also benefit from topical fluoride treatments during their semiannual dental checkups, and we may recommend topical fluoride therapy to avoid dental sensitivity after a teeth whitening treatment.
- Adults, teens, or kids who experience recurrent tooth decay should consider getting topical fluoride treatment to improve their oral health.
How is Fluoride Therapy Performed?
Fluoride treatments are easy to apply during any dental exam. We paint a coat of fluoride onto your teeth and let it sit for at least half an hour. For those patients who need ingested fluoride supplements, our team can recommend some excellent options. In some cases, we may also recommend prescription-strength fluoride toothpaste to strengthen teeth daily. For patients with dental sensitivity and those who experience frequent, severe decay, we may recommend regular at-home topical fluoride gel.