Is fluoride treatment good for your teeth?
Do I need fluoride treatment at the dentist?
Are fluoride treatments safe?
These are a few of the many questions that individuals have regarding fluoride treatments. So, if you’ve ever wondered about the dental fluoride procedure, you’re not alone.
You may be familiar with fluoride treatments for children, but what about adults?
In this article, we’re sharing all about the fluoride benefits for adults and answering top questions like, “what does fluoride do at the dentist?”
Join us in our fluoride discussion to learn why you might want to get a fluoride treatment at your next dentist appointment.
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in soil, water, and some foods. It’s a necessary mineral that’s responsible for strong teeth and the prevention of cavities.
From age 0-3, children need less than 1 mg of fluoride per day. Older children and adults need anywhere from 1-4 mg of fluoride depending on age and gender. Most adult women need 3 mg per day and men need 4 mg per day.
The most common ways that humans receive fluoride is from:
- Water (usually drinking water with added fluoride)
- Fluoride toothpaste (when used regularly)
A lack of adequate fluoride in children or adults can lead to an increased risk of tooth decay and cavities. Anyone who wants to supplement their fluoride intake can always receive a fluoride procedure at the dentist.
The 5 Most Pressing Fluoride Treatment Questions
Dentists often prescribe fluoride treatments for children and adults to prevent teeth from decay. Although insurance companies typically only cover this treatment for children, it’s highly encouraged for adults as teeth, no matter the age, benefit from fluoride. A dental fluoride treatment is often only around $20-30 out of pocket. This small fee can provide long-term oral health benefits that could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars later.
Here are some of the top questions adults have regarding a dental fluoride procedure.
Why Do Dentists Use Fluoride?
As we mentioned above, fluoride is an important mineral that strengthens teeth and helps prevent cavities. Dentists use fluoride treatments to provide an extra boost of this important mineral to teeth.
Fluoride for children is important because their teeth are still developing and they’re still learning how to perform good oral hygiene.
Some teens or adults tend to be more susceptible to weak enamel teeth (thanks mom and dad) or cavities (even if they have a healthy oral routine). These individuals can strengthen and even remineralize their teeth to fight against cavities with supplemental fluoride at the dentist.
The bottom line is that dentists use fluoride to increase tooth health.
Is Fluoride Treatment Good for Your Teeth?
Fluoride treatments are good for your teeth, especially if you’re at higher risk for tooth decay and cavities. Increasing your fluoride has a waterfall effect of benefits on your teeth.
First, a fluoride treatment benefits your teeth by:
- Helping the body better use and reabsorb minerals, like calcium and phosphate.
- Joining the tooth structure to strengthen the enamel of the teeth, making them less vulnerable to cavities.
- Slowing the development of cavities by combatting cavity-causing bacteria.
These fluoride benefits for adults further lead to:
- Reduced risk of cavities
- Slower cavity growth
- Reduced time and money spent on dental procedures
And finally, fluoride helps:
- Prevent gum disease
- Reduce tooth pain
- Prevent premature loss of teeth
So, are fluoride treatments effective and good for your teeth? Yes, because they provide extra protection for teeth against cavities.
Are Fluoride Treatments Safe?
Anytime you’re unfamiliar with a procedure, it’s a good idea to ask about safety concerns or risks. If you’ve never received fluoride before, it’s okay to wonder, “Is fluoride treatment at the dentist safe?”
A dental fluoride treatment at the dentist is safe for children and adults. There are some dangers of fluoride treatments, but dentists administer them regularly and take every precaution to keep you from harm. However, the three possible fluoride treatment side effects to be aware of:
Dental fluorosis is a term for white lines that form on children’s undeveloped teeth underneath the gums. These streaks appear because of too much fluoride at a young age. However, it isn’t harmful and doesn’t affect the teeth in any way except appearance. And in most cases, the lines are so faint that only a dentist can recognize them.
Once teeth break through the gums, they can’t develop fluorosis, so adults aren’t at risk.
Like with so many other things in life, it’s possible to have a hypersensitivity to fluoride. Often, people with this sensitivity will know before they receive a fluoride treatment because they’ll show some signs from fluoride in toothpaste or water.
Some of the most common signs of a fluoride allergy include:
- Red or itchy skin
- Abdominal pain
Allergic reactions to fluoride are rare but possible. If you already know that you have a hypersensitivity to fluoride, a fluoride treatment may not be best for you.
If you ingest too much fluoride in a high concentration, then there’s the possibility for fluoride to be toxic. This is highly unlikely if you listen to your dentist and don’t ingest toothpaste out of the bottle or drink mouthwash.
During a fluoride treatment, dentists often use a varnish that’s painted onto teeth to keep it on your teeth longer and to prevent you from swallowing it. Just no hot liquids for 30 minutes after it’s painted on!
Do I Need Fluoride Treatment at the Dentist?
As we’ve been discussing, there are some great benefits that many people can reap from an extra fluoride procedure. While some might say you don’t need the treatment, the risks are low and the upsides are significant.
The main groups of people who should highly consider getting consistent dental fluoride are:
- Children (whether at high risk for cavities or not)
- Adults at high risk for tooth decay
- Adults actively experiencing tooth decay
Teeth can grow weaker over time, so getting extra fluoride every now and then can help reinforce your teeth and save you time and money.
How Often Is Fluoride Treatment Recommended?
There’s no exact schedule for when and how often adults should receive fluoride treatment.
If you’re at high risk for tooth decay, your dentist may recommend you think about fluoride every 3-6 months. For those who are getting the procedure done voluntarily, every 6-12 months is a good time frame.
Ultimately, your dentist can help you understand how frequently dental fluoride would be good for you.
Where Can I Get Fluoride for My Teeth in Richmond, VA?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that aids in tooth strength and health, helping prevent cavities and tooth decay. Most people receive their recommended daily amounts of fluoride through water and fluoride products, like toothpaste and mouthwash.
But there are times when supplementing your fluoride intake through a dental fluoride treatment can be beneficial. Here’s a quick recap of dental fluoride:
Is fluoride treatment good for your teeth? Yes, a fluoride treatment can strengthen your teeth and help prevent cavities.
Do I need fluoride treatment at the dentist? Some people don’t need the treatment, but they can still significantly benefit from it.
Are fluoride treatments safe? Yes, fluoride treatments are safe and won’t cause you any harm.
If you have more questions regarding fluoride procedures or would like to get one done today, you can schedule an appointment to talk with us.
At Northside Dental Co, we’re experienced in all areas of dentistry. Our staff is friendly and welcoming, and our highly-trained dentists are full of professional dental knowledge. Whether you’re looking for a new dentist for regular checkups or need some serious dental work done, we can provide you with one of the best overall experiences.
Book an appointment online today! New patients are always welcome.