Learn more about this safe, cost-effective, and proven solution to preventing tooth decay.
About Fluoride Treatment
Fluoride is a safe, naturally occurring mineral that has been utilized for many years to help prevent tooth decay. Tooth decay begins when the bacteria and sugars present in the mouth form acids that begin to erode the layer of protective enamel on teeth through a process called demineralization. Left unchecked, this can lead to the formation of holes (cavities) in the teeth.
Fluoride helps strengthen the teeth through a remineralization process. Fluoride bonds to weakened areas of tooth enamel and disrupts acid production, helping to inhibit the process that leads to tooth decay.
Fluoride treatments can benefit people of all ages. Children who get adequate fluoride while their teeth are still forming often develop permanent teeth that are stronger and more decay-resistant over a lifetime. Adults who are particularly susceptible to tooth decay can also benefit from fluoride application.
While fluoride can help reverse early tooth decay and prevent cavities, it cannot heal cavities that have already formed. Therefore, it is a great, cost-effective, preventative strategy for maintaining dental health and avoiding more expensive problems later on.
Is fluoride safe?
Fluoride has been used for many years and has been approved as safe and effective by most major health and safety organizations. Although excessive amounts of fluoride for prolonged periods of time can harm teeth and bones, the amount of fluoride applied during a dental treatment is completely safe.
Because of its proven safety and widely recognized benefits, fluoride is often added in low concentrations to drinking water in many areas. It is also a main ingredient in most brands of toothpaste. However, children and individuals at increased risk of tooth decay can benefit from fluoride treatments that contain a higher concentration of the mineral than is present in drinking water or over-the-counter products. This type of treatment is only available from your dentist.
Who will benefit the most from fluoride treatment?
- Children whose permanent teeth have not yet developed: Exposure to fluoride during childhood fortifies the permanent teeth before they even emerge, leading to teeth that are stronger and more decay-resistant over a lifetime.
- Individuals with dry mouth: Saliva helps neutralize acid and protect the teeth. Those who take certain medications or who have health conditions that cause dry mouth are missing this natural layer of protection.
- Those with a history of cavities or poor dental hygiene: Poor oral health habits or illnesses and conditions that limit the ability to brush or floss regularly can increase the risk of tooth decay.
- Individuals who have crowns or bridges: Their teeth are particularly susceptible to decay at the point where the restoration meets the tooth.
- Individuals with braces: Braces can trap food and make it harder to floss and brush adequately. This increases the risk of tooth decay.
- Frequent snackers and those with a high-sugar diet: Increased plaque and bacteria caused by sugar and other foods puts tooth enamel at greater risk.
Your dentist can determine whether you are a candidate for a fluoride treatment, and only one appointment is normally required. At Hingham Dentistry, we use the latest techniques to offer fluoride treatments that are quick, safe, and effective. We will provide instructions for the care of your teeth after treatment. While fluoride can help reverse early tooth decay and prevent cavities, proper oral hygiene, good eating habits, and regular dental visits are necessary to maintain your good oral health.
Please contact us at our dental office if you have any questions about fluoride treatment or would like to schedule a consultation.