Fluoride Treatment: Advantages, Side Effects, Guidance

Fluoride Treatment: Advantages, Side Effects, Guidance

March 1, 2022

It is important to take preventive measures to prevent dental problems and diseases. The best way to do this is by using a fluoride treatment.
Fluoride helps in strengthening the tooth enamel and reducing the risk of cavities.

Fluoride treatments are available at most dental offices. Some of these treatments are also available over-the-counter, but they should be used with caution as they can damage tooth enamel if not used properly.

What is Fluoride Treatment?

Fluoride is a mineral found in groundwater, soil, plants, and foods. Fluoride can also be added to water to help prevent tooth decay. It helps make teeth more resistant to decay by making the outer layer harder and less likely to break down. Fluoride can reduce cavities by up to 40%.

There are two main types of fluoride treatments: topical and systemic. Topical treatments involve applying fluoride directly to your teeth, while systemic treatments involve taking fluoride pills or drinking water with added fluoride.

How Does Fluoride Treatment Work?

Fluoride works by reversing demineralization. Demineralization is the process of removing minerals (calcium and phosphate) from teeth and can be caused by genetics, diet, oral hygiene, and age. It leads to the formation of cavities in teeth and can cause a lot of pain.

The enamel can reverse this process when supplied with the essential mineral—fluoride. It binds with calcium ions in the teeth and prevents them from dissolving. This promotes the reabsorption of the lost minerals.

When Is Fluoride Used in Dentistry?

Fluoride treatment can benefit all people because it strengthens the teeth. However, the dentist in Peabody, MA can recommend a fluoride treatment in Peabody, MA, if you have:

  • History of dental cavities. If you suffer from cavities every year, the dentist in Peabody, MA can recommend fluoride as part of your tooth decay treatment.
  • Dry mouth. The saliva cleans the food particles from the mouth, preventing them from sticking to the teeth. If you have a dry mouth, you are at an increased risk of cavities and decay. Dry mouth can be caused by several factors like medications and certain diseases.
  • Gum diseases
  • Presence of dental restorations, crowns, and bridges

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Fluoride Treatment?

Fluoride treatment prevents tooth decay, strengthens teeth, and reduces the risk of cavities.
Side effects of fluoride treatment can occur when you consume too much fluoride. The most common disadvantage is fluorosis. Dental fluorosis occurs when too much fluoride accumulates on teeth to cause discoloration or pitting on the tooth enamel.

What are the Safety Guidelines for Kids Receiving Fluoride Treatments &

Fluoride is safe when used in the correct doses and under the supervision of a doctor.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that all children aged six months to 16 years old receive some form of fluoride daily.

Brushing is one of the primary ways of getting fluoride. There is a range of toothpaste available containing different levels of fluoride (measured in ppm).
Fluoride toothpaste with 1,350 to 1,500ppm is most effective. If you’re concerned about decay risks for yourself or as a parent with kids, speak to your dentist in Peabody, MA about which strength of toothpaste would be best for you.

The guidelines for using fluoride treatment include:

  • Children three years and below need a smear of toothpaste with around 1000ppm fluoride.
  • Three to six years need a pea-sized amount of toothpaste containing more than 1000ppm and should brush at least twice a day.

Fluoride varnish can be used from age six to strengthen the teeth.

What Other Preventive Dental Measures Can You Use?

Preventive dental measures can reduce the risk of developing gum disease. Here are some of the preventive dental measures that you can use:

  • Flossing: Flossing your teeth will remove food particles and plaque between your teeth and gums.
  • Brushing your teeth twice a day: Brush twice a day for two minutes each time, using a soft bristle brush with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Dental sealants: If your child is at risk of developing cavities, dental sealants can shield the teeth from bacteria.
  • Dental checkups: Schedule regular dental checkups at least once every six months or more often if at risk of cavities.

Schedule an Appointment

Visit Premier Family Dentistry for more information about fluoride treatment and what you can expect.