The Facts on Fluoride
If you’re a Northstar Family Dental patient, you have probably been offered a fluoride treatment during one of your routine visits. We’re often asked about the benefits, restrictions after treatment and the myths about negative effects of fluoride. So we thought we would answer the questions that we hear the most all right here!
Fact 1: Fluoride is a mineral from the crust of the earth that occurs naturally in all water sources. Research has shown that fluoride not only reduces cavities in children and adults, but it also helps repair the early stages of tooth decay, even before the decay is visible. When it reaches your teeth, fluoride is absorbed into the enamel. It helps to repair the enamel by replenishing the lost calcium and phosphorous to keep your teeth hard. In other words, fluoride is GOOD!
Fact 2: Although fluoride is found in natural sources such as drinking water, it is often not in a high enough quantity to prevent dental decay. Which is why the ADA and our team suggest supplementing.
Fact 3: Topical versus Systemic Fluorides. Topical fluorides are applied directly to the tooth enamel. Some examples include fluoride toothpastes and mouthrinses, as well as fluoride treatment that we perform in our office. However, the fluoride treatment that we use in the office is a much stronger concentration than that in toothpastes or fluoride mouthrinses that may be available in a store or at a pharmacy. Systemic fluorides are those that are swallowed. Examples include fluoridated water and dietary fluoride supplements. The maximum reduction in cavities is achieved when fluoride is available both topically and systemically.
Fact 4: Your fluoride treatments will take only a matter of minutes, can be completed during your routine cleaning appointment and is painless. After the treatment, we ask that you not eat or drink anything hot or cold for 30 minutes or brush/floss for six hours. Other than that, there is no downtime or side effects.
Fact 5: Depending on your oral health status, we may recommend treatments every three, six or 12 months. If you are at moderate or high risk of developing cavities, we may discuss additional preventative care solutions.
The next time you’re in our office, we urge you to consider a fluoride treatment to further protect you and your loved one’s overall oral health. The best part…most months, we donate $2 for every fluoride treatment administered to a non-profit charitable organization.
Ask your hygienist for details!
Liza Green, RDH, Contributing Editor