Fluoride treatment is recommended by our dentists in New Westminster for children and adults to help reduce the risk of cavities.
Our teeth go through two processes daily; demineralization and re-mineralization. Demineralization is the loss of minerals—calcium and phosphate that strengthen the teeth. When these minerals are lost, the teeth become a bit weak and prone to acid attacks and cavities. However, if supplied with essential minerals like fluoride, the enamel can reverse the process and reabsorb calcium and phosphate.
Fluoride also reverses mild cavities and neutralizes the acid solution (produced when bacteria break down high-sugar foods) in the mouth.
While fluoride treatment is recommended at your routine check-up and cleaning, if you are at a higher risk of cavities, a dentist near you can also use supplemental fluoride treatment if you have certain conditions such as:
1. Dry mouth
Saliva is important in keeping your teeth and mouth healthy by removing food particles. It also supplies the enamel with the necessary minerals required to keep it strong and enable it to fight cavities. When you have a dry mouth because of medication and certain diseases, it can affect your dental health.
Low saliva production will affect the removal of the food particles, and this causes the bacteria to multiply as they feed on the leftover foods. The more bacteria buildup, the higher the risk of cavities and gum infection.
2. Periodontal disease
Gum disease, caused by bacteria, often causes gums to recede and exposes the roots of the teeth. This increases the risk of decay and cavities, and the dentist will recommend fluoride varnish for adults to strengthen the teeth and prevent deterioration of the bone.
3. Radiation therapy
Radiation therapy damages the salivary glands, which often leads to dry mouth. The dentist can give you fluoride treatment as part of your oral health to help mitigate the effects caused by the treatment.
Fluoride treatment can benefit adults in various ways, such as preventing cavities. However, the primary benefit of getting the treatment is that it helps to strengthen the teeth. As we age, the enamel erodes and gets thinner, making it more prone to developing cavities. Using fluoride treatment can make the teeth stronger and slow down the process.
Fluoride treatment takes a few minutes, and it is pain-free. The dentist, hygienist, or dental assistant will apply fluoride varnish on the teeth and strengthen the teeth. In some cases, you may be advised to avoid eating or drinking for the first half-hour after the treatment to allow the teeth to absorb the mineral.
Supplemental fluoride treatment can be done using a high flu0ride toothpaste at home or a daily fluoride mouth rinse. In some cases, the dentist can make custom trays for you to use at home with fluoride gel.
Fluoride overdose is rare, but it can occur in children or older adults. Fluorosis can cause discoloration and the formation of white patches on the teeth. Fluoride overdose can also cause dense but weak bones. You can get dental fluorosis treatment to reduce the chances of toxicity and other side effects.
Also, avoid taking fluoride supplements unless advised by the dentist. This is because they increase the chances of you developing fluorosis and the associated complications.
Visit Asante Dental Centre in New Westminster for more information about fluoride treatment and what you can expect.