Dr. Lemons and our dental hygienists recommend that adults and children have a professional application of fluoride twice a year during dental check-ups. Fluoride strengthens the teeth once they have erupted by seeping into the outer surface of the tooth enamel, making the teeth more resistant to decay.
Why do I need fluoride?
Cavity Prevention: Fluoride is effective in preventing tooth decay by inhibiting the demineralization of tooth enamel and promoting remineralization. Remineralization involves replenishing lost minerals, such as calcium and phosphate, in the tooth enamel, making it more resistant to acid attacks from bacteria in the mouth. Fluoride treatments can help protect teeth from cavities and reduce the risk of decay.
Strengthening Tooth Enamel: Fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel, the outer layer of the teeth, by promoting the formation of fluorapatite crystals. These crystals are more resistant to acid erosion and contribute to the overall hardness and durability of tooth enamel. Stronger enamel is less prone to damage and decay, resulting in improved oral health and reduced sensitivity.
Sensitivity Relief: Fluoride treatments can help alleviate tooth sensitivity caused by conditions such as enamel erosion, tooth wear, or exposed tooth roots. Fluoride strengthens and desensitizes the tooth enamel, reducing sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet, or acidic stimuli and improving overall comfort.
Preventive Care for High-Risk Individuals: Individuals who are at high risk of developing tooth decay, such as children, adolescents, individuals with dry mouth (xerostomia), or those with a history of frequent cavities, may benefit from regular fluoride treatments as part of preventive dental care. Fluoride helps provide additional protection against cavities and supports optimal oral health for high-risk individuals.
Orthodontic Treatment: Patients undergoing orthodontic treatment, such as braces or clear aligners, may be more susceptible to tooth decay due to difficulty cleaning around orthodontic appliances. Fluoride treatments can help mitigate the increased risk of cavities associated with orthodontic treatment by strengthening tooth enamel and reducing the likelihood of decay.
Professional Application: While fluoride is present in many toothpaste and mouthwash products, professional fluoride treatments provided by dentists offer higher concentrations of fluoride and greater efficacy in delivering fluoride to the teeth. Our dental team can apply fluoride gels, foams, or varnishes directly to the teeth during dental appointments, ensuring optimal coverage and absorption of fluoride by the enamel.
Fluoride treatments play a valuable role in maintaining optimal oral health, preventing tooth decay, and protecting teeth from cavities. Dr. Lemons and your dental hygienist can assess your individual oral health needs and recommend appropriate fluoride treatments as part of your preventive dental care regimen. If you have questions about fluoride treatments or their benefits, discuss them with us during your dental visit.
I've heard fluoride is bad for you
The American Dental Association (ADA) supports the use of fluoride treatments as an effective preventive measure for reducing the risk of tooth decay and promoting oral health. Here are some key points regarding the ADA's stance on fluoride treatments:
Preventive Measure: The ADA recognizes fluoride as a safe and beneficial agent for preventing tooth decay and strengthening tooth enamel. Fluoride helps protect teeth from acid attacks by inhibiting demineralization and promoting remineralization of the enamel.
Efficacy: According to the ADA, fluoride treatments have been shown to be effective in reducing the incidence of cavities and improving overall oral health, especially when used as part of a comprehensive preventive dental care regimen. Fluoride treatments can benefit individuals of all ages, from children to adults, and are particularly beneficial for those at high risk of developing tooth decay.
Professional Application: The ADA recommends that fluoride treatments be administered, during routine dental check-ups and cleanings. Professional fluoride treatments offer higher concentrations of fluoride and ensure proper application and coverage of the teeth for maximum effectiveness.
Customized Recommendations: The ADA encourages dental professionals to assess each patient's individual oral health needs and risk factors for tooth decay when recommending fluoride treatments. Patients at higher risk of cavities, such as children, adolescents, individuals with dry mouth, or those with a history of frequent cavities, may benefit from more frequent or intensive fluoride treatments.
Safety: The ADA emphasizes the safety of fluoride when used as directed for preventive purposes. Fluoride treatments provided by dental professionals are safe and well-tolerated by most individuals.
The ADA supports the use of fluoride treatments as a valuable tool in preventing tooth decay, promoting oral health, and improving the overall well-being of patients. If you have questions or concerns about fluoride treatments or their benefits, consult with Dr. Lemons or a member of our dental team at Lemons Dental for personalized recommendations based on your individual oral health needs.