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All Posts in Category: Fluoride

fluoride helps and hurts oral health

How Fluoride Helps and Possibly Hurts Your Oral Health

Fluoride is one of the many minerals found in water and many types of foods. It also has an essential role in the remineralization of your teeth’s enamel and can interrupt the harmful production of acid on your teeth. While it is important to be aware of how fluoride contributes to your oral health, you should also know of the ways it may be harmful.

Fluoride for Better Oral Health

Early Development of Teeth

Recent research indicates children aged six months to 16 years with developing teeth can benefit from the exposure to fluoride, which can strengthen their growing teeth. Adults should also make sure that the dental products they use contains the right amount of fluoride as the mineral is just as important in combatting tooth decay.

Use of Certain Orthodontic Treatments

Treatments such as braces, bridges or crowns can expose the vulnerable parts of your teeth, putting them at risk of decay. Areas surrounding the brackets of orthodontic appliances, or where the crown touches the underlying tooth structure, can be breeding grounds for bacteria and should be treated with dental products containing fluoride.

Chronic Dry Mouth

Constantly having a dry mouth can be the result of some medical conditions, treatments, and medicine. Because there is a lack of saliva, it can be more difficult for your mouth to neutralize harmful acids and wash away small bits of food. Using dental products with fluoride, including toothpaste and mouthwashes, can help restore the pH of the mouth and remove the food particles that bacteria feeds on.

Fluoride as an Oral Health Hazard

Toxic Doses

Fluoride is only beneficial to your oral health when it is being used as directed. Toxic doses of fluoride will depend on a person’s weight and can result in significant health issues. Because it can be easier for younger children to consume extremely high doses of fluoride due to fluorinated water, their tendency to accidentally swallow toothpaste and the consumption of processed foods containing fluoride, it is necessary that they are carefully supervised, particularly when using dental products that contain fluoride.

Fluorosis

This condition typically occurs in children aged six months to 16 years. It creates streaks and specks on the teeth that can range from a hardly visible, whitish color to a very noticeable brown. Fluorosis does not cause pain, and in mild cases, may not impair the health of the teeth. In these situations, the main concern will be cosmetic. To have the marks removed, it will be necessary to have them treated with professional-grade abrasives and whiteners available only at your dentist’s office. For individuals who have moderate to severe cases of fluorosis, the concentration of fluoride on the teeth can be so high that the porosity of the enamel increases to the degree that the teeth become physically damaged and begin to crumble.

If you have concerns about fluoride and your teeth, or if your see white streaks on your children’s teeth, you should consult your dentist. You dentist will address any concerns you have about your oral health.

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Fluoride Treatments for Adults

Fluoride Treatments for Adults

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Despite what you may think, fluoride treatments aren’t just for children. In fact, several studies show that topical fluoride treatments given to adults by dental professionals have a significant, positive impact on the oral health of adults at moderate to high risk for cavities. There are a growing number of reasons why adults should receive fluoride treatments. These include a rise in prescription medication use and an increase in restorative dental work.

Countering side effects

Many of the prescription medications given to adults have side effects such as dry mouth and reduced saliva production. Radiation treatments for cancer can also lead to reduced saliva production. Decreased saliva increases your risk for cavities as bacteria forms and enamel erodes. A fluoride treatment is an effective way of countering this problem and along with other oral health suggestions provided by your dentist, you can maintain a balance between a healthy mouth and a healthy body.

Maturing oral health

Gum recession is often an unfortunate result of aging. When the gums recede, the root surface of the teeth becomes exposed and these regions lack the hard enamel found at the top of the tooth, leaving them vulnerable to decay. Add into that the fact that many adults receive restorative work including bridges and crowns, and this means there are newly exposed tooth areas in need of protection. Fluoride helps protect surfaces suffering gum recession and the areas around new dental work. Fluoride treatments are also a great choice if you opt for braces because orthodontic appliances can make maintaining oral health a challenge, but the treatments keep teeth strong and cavity-free.

Cavity prevention and sensitivity issues

Nobody is perfect and if you’re someone who doesn’t always floss daily, as you should, fluoride treatments can help give your oral health a boost. Fluoride gets between your teeth where flossing usually reaches so a treatment can help prevent cavity development in that area. If you’re someone who suffers from sensitive teeth from gum recession, teeth whitening, or just genetics, fluoride treatments can restore minerals to tooth enamel and lower sensitivity.

How it works

With an in-office fluoride treatment, we dry off your teeth and mouth and then apply a special fluoride gel, paint or vanish either by brushing on or by using a mouth guard you wear for a designated amount of time. Following the treatment, you’re advised to avoid eating or drinking for at least 30 minutes and it’s best for your oral and overall health if you avoid tobacco use altogether.

Fluoride treatments help fight and prevent decay in patients of all ages and are especially beneficial if you live somewhere without a fluoridated water supply. Contact Creative Dental today to discuss the benefits of adding a fluoride treatment to your oral health routine.

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