Why Dentists Use Fluoride

Seeing the dentist at least twice a year does more than just keep your smile sparkling and ready to set a great first impression. It’s also a big part of protecting your overall health. Part of the benefit of regular dental visits includes the use of fluoride treatments, administered in different forms, including gel and paste. The naturally occurring mineral is proven to strengthen your teeth and help prevent tooth decay.

Who’s Most Likely to Get Fluoride Treatment?

The majority of fluoride treatments administered at the dentist’s office are given to children. Children experience cavities often because their enamel is weaker and they tend to skip brushing when they can. In some cases, adults also need fluoride treatment to target weakened teeth. You can rest assured that your dentist in Bloomington won’t recommend this treatment to you unless they’ve identified a reason why you need it.

Strengthening the Enamel

Fluoride is a mineral your body uses to reinforce the enamel on your teeth. This is the outer layer that gives them a slight shine while also protecting the underlying material from bacteria. Acid tends to weaken the enamel, leading to its loss over time. Your saliva is responsible for re-mineralizing the enamel, but it works best if you’re getting plenty of fluoride and other minerals in your diet. Using a targeted fluoride treatment in the dentist’s office helps strengthen damaged enamel to lower your chances of tooth decay.

Resisting Tooth Decay

Brushing your teeth and rinsing with mouthwash reduces bacteria levels in the mouth, but only strong tooth enamel can prevent tooth decay and cavities in the long run. Undergoing regular fluoride treatments could make all the difference between getting multiple fillings or having a strong smile without any decay.  

Treating Certain Conditions That Leave Your Teeth at Risk

Sometimes your dentist may diagnose you with a condition that’s affecting your enamel more than usual. For example, acid reflux at night can weaken your tooth enamel from the constant exposure to stomach acid. Getting a timely fluoride treatment restores the protective barrier of your teeth to lower the chances of decay. In these cases, your dentist will likely recommend a long-term series of fluoride treatments to help combat these conditions.  

Understanding Fluoride Safety

Fluoride is safer than you might think. While there are health risks from taking extremely high doses over long periods of time, the amount that’s added to drinking water or toothpaste is perfectly safe. It’s particularly important for growing children, but adults need enough fluoride as well. Getting enough fluoride is the best way to protect your teeth for life, especially if braces or night guards are causing extra wear and tear on your tooth enamel.

Talking to Your Doctor About Fluoride

You can explain your concerns or confusion about fluoride to your dentist to get more information on how it pertains to you. They can discuss the amount of this mineral you get through your diet and the drinking water you use to determine if you need any more on a daily basis. You’ll also get more information on how targeted fluoride treatments could help you. It’s better to have a healthy discussion about your concerns rather than automatically avoiding fluoride and products that contain it.

Make a commitment to better dental health by scheduling an appointment with our team. Here at Liberty Family Dentistry, we take a conservative approach to treatment and will gladly explain the benefits and risks of everything we recommend. You can trust that we're doing our very best to protect your health when you visit us.

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