How Often Should I Have Fluoride Treatments?

How Often Should I Have Fluoride Treatments?

Fluoride is often recommended by dentists because it can improve oral health. A lot of modern toothpastes contain fluoride, but there are also professional fluoride treatments you can get in a general dentist office. In this article, we will talk about the benefits of using fluoride for your teeth and answer the question: “How often should I have fluoride treatments?”

Why Do I Need to Use Fluoride for My Teeth?

Fluoride has been used in dentistry for many decades now. It is a natural mineral that can provide several benefits for the health of your teeth:

  • Strengthen and support the enamel of your teeth
  • Fight harmful bacteria in the mouth
  • Prevent plaque and tartar buildup
  • Prevent dental cavities
  • Prevent gum disease
  • Help with dry mouth issues

How Does Fluoride Work?

Human bodies can take fluoride systemically or topically. Tap water we drink can contain some amount of fluoride, also we can take some fluoride supplements. When we use toothpaste and mouth rinses with fluoride or have a professional fluoride treatment at a dental office, fluoride is applied topically to the teeth.

Bacteria and food particles that linger on our teeth can damage and erode the enamel, making teeth vulnerable and prone to tooth decay. Fluoride helps to replenish minerals on tooth surfaces damaged by bacteria. Also, fluoride can slow the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth, preventing further erosion of the enamel and cavities.

Fluoride does not remove tooth decay when it is already there, but it helps to reinforce the outer surface of teeth. Thus, it can help to prevent the decay from penetrating deeper into the teeth.

What Is a Professional Fluoride Treatment?

Professional fluoride treatment can come in the form of a gel, foam, or varnish. It can be applied by different methods: with a swab, with a brush, or by placing a tray in the mouth. Typically, the treatment is quite fast and takes only a few minutes.

The difference between over-the-counter fluoride solutions and professional fluoride treatments is the concentration of the mineral. Treatment solutions at a dental office have a much higher concentration of fluoride, providing more benefits to the teeth. You have to abstain from eating or drinking for 30 to 60 minutes after the treatment so your teeth can fully absorb the solution.

Children can also receive fluoride treatments, and, in fact, they are highly beneficial because they can significantly reduce the risk of cavities.

How Often Should I Have Fluoride Treatments?

Typically, dentists recommend getting fluoride treatment every 3 to 12 months. The frequency might depend on your general health considerations and oral health history. If the risk of tooth decay is high for you, your dentist might recommend additional prescription or over-the-counter gels or mouth rinses you can routinely use at home to maximize the effect of the treatment.

Fluoride treatment can also be a part of a professional dental cleaning, usually being the last step of it. You can ask your dentist about the options they offer and if you can receive the treatment as a part of your routine cleanings. Remember that professional cleanings are crucial to be done every 6 to 12 months to effectively remove plaque and prevent tartar, cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease.

Potential Side Effects of Fluoride

Simple over-the-counter fluoride toothpastes are usually quite safe to use on a daily basis. However, when it comes to other fluoride solutions, another reason to get a professional fluoride treatment or at least consult with your dentist is that they will take into account your medical history to measure the exact amount of fluoride you need. Fluoride is highly beneficial to the teeth, but if you have too much of it, some side effects might occur:

  • White spots on the teeth
  • Staining
  • Bone homeostasis issues
  • Very dense but weak bones

Remember that taking too many fluoride supplement pills can lead to overdose and cause serious side effects like:

  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • excessive sweating and tiredness

On top of that, fluoride supplements overdose can even lead to death in some cases. Always consult with your dentist and general doctor before taking fluoride supplements, and keep the pills out of reach of children.

Constant overexposure to fluoride can cause some bone and teeth developmental issues in small children. This is the reason why some toothpastes for kids do not contain fluoride. Ask your dentist how to effectively and safely use fluoride for your child.

Make an Appointment Today

Enhance your dental health by getting a professional fluoride treatment at Dental Care of Pomona. Do not hesitate to call our office today and make an appointment with one of our specialists. We are looking forward to welcoming you.

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