Fluoride helps protect teeth from decay and cavities. Teeth with fluoride in the enamel simply resist acids better than teeth that have not. When bacteria in the mouth combine with sugars, acid is produced that can dissolve tooth structure and cause cavities or erode away the enamel. It protects teeth from demineralization caused by the acid. It can also help with repairing enamel that has been mildly damaged by acids. Studies have shown water fluoridation continues to be effective in
Both children and adults can benefit from fluoride use. Especially helpful for those with a history of tooth decay, poor dental hygiene, a high acid/sugar diet and those who experience dry mouth.
As with any medical treatment, toxic effects can occur with extreme doses. Overdose is possible, for example, if a small child consumes an entire tube of toothpaste or ingests multiple supplement tablets. Fluoride can cause discoloration of enamel if excess amounts are used over long periods of time while the teeth are developing.
There are no known alternatives that provide equal benefit for the health and strength of tooth enamel.
Generally, there is a significantly increased risk of developing cavities.
Until recently, most professional fluoride treatments that you received after a dental cleaning were in the form of a foam or gel inside of a squishy tray that fit over your teeth. You wore the tray for a few minutes, then any remaining fluoride was suctioned away, and you were advised to not eat or drink for a half hour or more. This prevented any surface fluoride from being washed or wiped away, allowing the porous tooth enamel to soak
With a sodium fluoride varnish, you can enjoy: • Maximum mineral uptake into your teeth. • No need to wait to eat or drink after your dental appointment. • Relief for tooth sensitivity. • Reversal of enamel demineralization (early tooth decay). • Greater resistance against cavities.
Fluoride varnish is an effective option for managing chronic tooth sensitivity. If your teeth are healthy but tend to be hypersensitive to temperature changes (as when you’re eating) or just breathing in through your mouth, then you may want to request a varnish treatment. Applying fluoride varnish usually provides relief for sensitive teeth on the very same day, with results lasting up to three or four months. You can stop by your dentist’s office at any time to have another
As with any type of vitamin or mineral, ingesting too much of a good thing isn’t good. But in appropriate doses, fluoride is vital to having a healthy smile that lasts through life. Not only do regular fluoride exposures or varnish treatments help you keep your teeth strong, they significantly lower the risk of decay due to the gradual erosion process from our foods and drinks. Most professionals suggest an application every six months for preventative purposes.