What Does Fluoride Treatment Do In Protecting Your Teeth?

Fluoride is a mineral in the Earth’s crust. In dentistry, this natural mineral strengthens teeth by reinforcing the tooth enamel layer. Public water sources in Australia have been fluoridated since the 1960s. Studies have shown that drinking fluoridated water has cut their chances of tooth decay by half compared to those Australians drinking non-fluoridated tap water. 

The Australian Dental Association recognizes the role of fluoride in preventing tooth decay in adults and children. Fluoride treatments are done in a dentist’s office, wherein a dentist applies sodium fluoride directly to the teeth to keep teeth strong and reduce the risk of tooth decay.

How Does Fluoride Treatment Work?

Drinking fluoridated water and brushing teeth twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste effectively prevents dental caries in both children and adults. However, if you want to ensure your dental health, getting regular professional fluoride treatments on top of applying fluoride products at home are better in ensuring your adult teeth get the protection and care they deserve so they last you for life.

  • Fluoride is applied to teeth by a dental professional.
  • This fluoride binds to teeth and coats them to prevent tooth decay.
  • The fluoride treatments also promote remineralization, wherein the topical fluoride is absorbed into teeth, restoring lost minerals.

Young children who still have their baby teeth are at risk of developing dental fluorosis. This is a condition where the teeth develop scattered white, chalky flecks. This condition is not directly caused by consuming fluoridated water but is the result of consuming too much fluoride products such as fluoridated toothpaste. 

The recommended toothpaste size is only a smear or pea-sized for children under six years old. Young children will also benefit from a low fluoride toothpaste. And even though dental fluorosis is caused by excess fluoride, your dentist can decide on the best fluoride treatment for small children to maintain good oral health.

Advantages of Fluoride Treatments

Reduce the Risk of Tooth Decay

Applying a fluoride treatment or fluoride varnish will reduce the risk of dental caries. Even if you have developing tooth decay, it will slow the growth of the decay by building a foundation for strong teeth. It is recommended to go for fluoride treatments on top of your regular dental cleanings every six months. However, if you are at high risk of developing tooth decay, you can go for fluoride treatments every three months as an added measure to protect teeth.

Prevent Premature Tooth Loss

Because fluoride promotes the remineralization of teeth, it provides a strong foundation for healthy teeth. Fluoride does not only prevent cavities; it also ensures that your teeth last you a long time. Children who regularly go for fluoride treatments can keep their baby teeth longer as opposed to those who only get their fluoride source from drinking water.

Remineralization of Teeth

The earliest sign of tooth demineralization is increased tooth sensitivity and discolouration. A professional fluoride treatment promotes teeth remineralization to rebuild damaged permanent teeth. People with certain health conditions such as diabetes are also more prone to dental decay due to changes in the saliva and the resulting gum recession, making teeth more prone to acid attacks. Topical fluoride treatments promote teeth remineralization resulting in better oral health and healthier teeth and gums.

Antibacterial Properties

One of the benefits of fluoride is its antibacterial property. Fluoride is known to inhibit bacterial growth; this is one of the reasons behind water fluoridation systems. Regular fluoride treatments coat your teeth with an additional layer of protection that repels bacteria and reduces the acid tolerance of bacteria. You can help enhance the antibacterial properties of fluoride by brushing with fluoride toothpaste in between dentist appointments. You can also get fluoride from the following sources:

  • Fluoride mouth rinses
  • Fluoride supplements
  • Topical fluoride gels

These treatments can be done at home under the instruction of a dentist.

When Do You Need Fluoride Treatment

There are two main ways that you can get the fluoride you need to keep your teeth and gums healthy:

  • Food, supplements, and water intake
  • Fluoridated toothpaste, mouth rinses, or fluoridated gels

On top of these home remedies for increasing fluoride intake, you may need a regular fluoride treatment if you have:

  • Extensive dental caries
  • Structurally weakened teeth
  • Have an underlying health condition such as diabetes
  • Gum disease

Summary

Maintaining a healthy set of teeth well into adulthood takes a lot of time and care. By taking extra care of your teeth through regular dentist visits and fluoride treatments, you are ensuring your dental health and looking out for your overall health. Talk to your dentist to know how much fluoride you need to maintain healthy oral health and reap the fluoride benefits.

Book an appointment with Dental on York today to see the difference good oral health brings. 

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