Dentists use many different products and substances to achieve various results on patients. Usually, it depends on the oral problem you have. When you visit a dentist Chicago, IL, the initial steps of any treatment have to do with dental exams. The exams help the dentist identify your current oral state, finding the best treatment that would assure you of excellent oral health. Sometimes, nothing is even wrong with your oral cavity. However, treatments like fluoride treatment for teeth are necessary for dental health.
What is Fluoride Treatment?
Fluoride is a natural element present in everyday foods, that is necessary for strengthening the enamel of teeth. The mineral has been known to form strong teeth and prevent cavities.
In an ideal world, everyone should get fluoride from the foods they consume. Some of the natural sources of this fluoride are:
- Fluoridated tap water
- Boiled foods
- Fish with bones, to mention a few
Besides that, the toothpaste you use has a certain percentage of fluoride in that is there to boost the strength of your teeth. Even then, a dentist will still recommend getting a fluoride varnish through professional intervention. The question now remains, is fluoride treatment necessary?
Fluoride Treatment for Dental Cavities
A cavity is a dental problem that occurs when plaque builds up on teeth over a long period. This plaque produces acids that corrode the enamel of teeth. Besides, it also accumulates on teeth, keeping harmful bacteria on the surfaces of teeth. The bacteria then breaches the enamel of teeth, forming a cavity. The cavity can manifest into serious dental decay, given time.
Some patients are at a higher risk of developing dental cavities than others. For children between the ages of 6 and 14 years, they are more likely to get cavities that at a later age. Adults too can succumb to dental cavities in adulthood. The dental exams performed during dental visits are used to determine whether or not you are a high-risk case.
Before dental cavities occur, fluoride varnish is applied to teeth. The varnish creates a layer of protection on the enamel of the teeth, increasing your teeth’s resistance to dental cavities.
What Does The Fluoride Treatment Involve?
This treatment is a simple procedure that can be performed during one of your typical routine dental visits. Professional fluoride treatments come in the form of gels, concentrated rinses, and varnishes. These forms of fluoride have a higher concentration of the mineral than is present in natural sources, as well as in toothpaste.
The dentist will apply them on your teeth using a special brush or swab. This should only take a few minutes. Afterward, you have to avoid eating or drinking anything for about 30 minutes or so. This allows the fluoride to be absorbed by your teeth.
What Are the Benefits of Fluoride?
With such an easy process, it is easy for a dentist to convince you to try out fluoride treatment. However, that’s not all it should take you to try it out. Considering the following benefits, however, is a good enough place to make an informed decision.
- It restores minerals to your teeth – as you age, your teeth’s enamel gets eroded, leading to enamel thinning. With fluoride, however, the minerals necessary for teeth are restored, therefore improving the health of your teeth.
- Boosting the strength of teeth.
- Fighting dental cavities and preventing dental decay – unless you fully comprehend how harmful dental decay is to your oral health, you may not appreciate this benefit of fluoride. Dental decay can cause you to lose your teeth, cause excruciating pain, among other oral problems.
- It inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria on your teeth’s surfaces – this could also go a long way in protecting your oral cavity from gum infection and related conditions.
Disadvantages of Fluoride
In all fairness, every good thing comes with some not-so-nice consequences. As for fluoride treatment, the most common ones include the following:
- Leaves white specs or residues on teeth – this is specific to mature teeth.
- Can cause bone homeostasis challenges
- An overdose can lead to acute toxicity, causing other problems like nausea and vomiting.