The Many Ways to Get Fluoride Into Teeth

Is Fluoride Essential?

An essential dental treatment for decades already, fluoride has been used by dentists worldwide as it is nature’s cavity-fighter. Fluoride supports the health of tooth enamel by the process of demineralization and remineralization.This way it provides protection to the enamel making it more resistant against bacterial attack, effectively preventing tooth decay and its spread. This naturally-occurring, abundant mineral is found in soil, water, and foods. It is also produced synthetically for use in drinking water, toothpaste, mouthwashes and various chemical products.

Dentists provide professional fluoride treatments in the form of a highly concentrated rinse, foam, gel, or varnish. The treatment may be applied with a swab, brush, tray, or mouthwash. Fluoride in low doses in the mouth can already reduce the incidence of caries and tooth decay, and it is for this reason that it is used in toothpaste and water fluoridation. Professional fluoride treatments have much more fluoride than what is in water or toothpaste.

How much fluoride does one need?

Optimal fluoride intake comes from food, water, and supplements, and there are recommendations for daily amounts: from birth to 3 years of age: 0.1 to 1.5mg, 4 to 6 years of age: 1 to 2.5mg, 7 to 10 years of age: 1.5 to 2.5mg, adolescents and adults: 1.5 to 4 mg. They only take a few minutes to apply. Avoid eating or drinking for 30 minutes after treatment so the fluoride can fully absorb.

What are the benefits of fluoride?

Fluoride restores minerals to tooth surfaces where bacteria may have eroded the enamel. It can also inhibit the growth of harmful oral bacteria and further prevent cavities. Fluoride cannot remove decay but creates a stronger enamel to help stop decay from penetrating deeper into teeth. When children are exposed early to fluoride, it is less likely they develop cavities. A large study found that children and adolescents who received fluoride treatments for one year were 43% less likely to have tooth decay and cavities.Before fluoridated toothpaste, studies showed that communities with fluoridated water were 40-60% less likely to get cavities.

The ADA and the CDC recommend trace amounts in drinking water. Overdosing, though, can cause negative complications. According to the ADA, it’s best to get fluoride both topically from toothpaste and treatments at the dentist, and systemically in water and supplements.

Safe Fluoride Treatments in West Seattle

Both children and adults can avail of professionally applied fluoride treatments. Know more about safe use of fluoride with your dentist at 1st Impressions Dental in West Seattle.