Dentists around the world are known to recommend fluoride treatments to help their patients. While it is well known to be found in public drinking water and several brands of toothpastes, many people are still unaware of the benefits of fluoride.
Fluoride treatments may be prescribed by your dentist if you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, have receding gums or are seeing an increase of cavities. If you are fortunate to not have any of these symptoms your dentist will probably help you by recommending a home fluoride treatment plan. For people who are moderate risk for tooth decay or cavities, a simple fluoride toothpaste might be enough prevention to keep them moderate to low risk. However, people who require more intense fluoride treatments will find those found in dental offices to be the best option. These treatments have a higher fluoride concentration than products meant for in-home use.
What is fluoride?
Fluoride is a natural mineral that was discovered in the 1930s. It was found in the drinking water of several communities who tended to have fewer cavities. With further studies coming to the same conclusion, many dentists support drinking water be supplemented with fluoride to the general public.
Fluoride in drinking water continues to draw controversy with studies proving advantages and disadvantages in the practice. A study by Indiana University found that fluoride benefits people of all ages, but that older adults benefited the most. It found the cost relationship of preventive care today, with the addition of fluoride to future dental costs, makes it a wise investment in our health. Other researchers are finding hypothyroidism cases are sharing the same symptoms as fluoride poisoning and dental fluorosis is also becoming a concern.
Some of the benefits of fluoride in tap water include:
- Preventive measure against tooth decay
- Reduction in existing tooth decay
- Strengthening tooth enamel
When fluoride is consumed by children it has been shown to help strengthen the development of their permanent teeth. Fluoride that is absorbed through saliva by eating certain foods or drinks helps teeth get stronger from the outside. This is further enhanced with topical fluoride treatments to help replace any lost tooth enamel. These treatments can be enhanced with toothpastes containing fluoride and are used by people of all ages to help remineralize their teeth.
After fluoride treatments it’s common for dentists to recommend you avoid certain foods or drinks for up to an hour. This will allow the fluoride to be more effective as it has a better chance of being absorbed by your teeth. By avoiding certain foods and drinks you will also have a better chance for maximum absorption of the fluoride treatment. Ensuring you receive the maximum benefits from your dental treatments will help lower future dental work costs. There are certain foods or drinks that have a tendency of rubbing away the fluoride before it is fully absorbed. Typically, this includes the same foods or drinks that will stain your teeth, such as hot liquids or crunchy foods. In addition to drinking fluoride rich water there are some foods known to contain fluoride such as eggs, teas, fish and meats.
Regular dental checkups will ensure your teeth to be healthier and stronger. Dentists will find any cavities you currently have and plan treatment accordingly. If fluoride is recommended by your dentist, they will explain why you need it and the best way to absorb the mineral in your daily life. Fluoride treatments can play a vital role in your dental health if your dental history suggests you have a greater chance of cavities or tooth decay.
In an effort to help young children and adults with sensitive teeth at home, CariFree provides a great option with our CTx4 Gel 1100. This low abrasive toothpaste is pH neutral and provides needed fluoride to help remineralize teeth.