Is Fluoride Important to Dental Health?

Child at Dentist

Fluoride is a mineral found in your bones and teeth.  It is naturally present in water, however many communities add fluoride to their water system to achieve a level recommended to prevent tooth decay.  It has been shown to protect teeth against cavities. The American Dental Association reports every dollar invested in water fluoridation saves over $38 in dental treatment. Learn more about dental fluoride treatments and how you benefit.

What is a Fluoride Treatment?

Fluoride can be delivered to a person two different ways. Systemic fluorides, like those added to a water supply, are swallowed. You could also take dietary supplements to get fluoride. Topical fluorides are applied directly to the teeth, usually by a dentist. Some toothpastes and mouthwashes also have fluoride added to them.

A fluoride treatment only takes a few minutes in the dentist’s office. It is applied to your teeth with a swab or brush and comes in the form of a gel, foam or varnish. Once the fluoride is on your teeth, you shouldn’t eat or drink for about 30 minutes. This allows your teeth to absorb the mineral completely. Most dentists recommend fluoride treatments every 6 to 12 months, but it depends on your oral health.

Benefits of Fluoride Treatments

Both children and adults need fluoride for healthy teeth. Fluoride itself doesn’t remove decay, but it can help stop decay from getting to the roots of your teeth. Fluoride strengthens the enamel, the outer surface of your teeth and can also repair damage to the teeth. If you experience chronic dry mouth, a fluoride varnish helps protect your teeth from decay.

Are There Risks With Fluoride Treatments?

Fluoride treatments are very safe. The amount of fluoride used in a varnish might be concentrated, but the actual amount of fluoride is still within safe measures. You should keep fluoride supplements away from children and only use the recommended amount. Too much fluoride can stain teeth. If you take too much fluoride, you may have nausea or diarrhea. Children under three years old should not use a fluoride toothpaste, but they can receive fluoride treatments from a dentist. Water fluoridation is safe for children and adults.

Don’t Ignore Dental Care

Your Colorado Springs dentist can provide fluoride treatments for your entire family. These treatments are no substitute for regular dental visits and a good dental hygiene routine. You should still brush twice daily, floss every day and visit your dentist twice a year for exams and cleaning.  Contact us at HollowBrook Dental to schedule your next regular hygiene appointment.  

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