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The benefits of fluoride

Posted by DR. BIPINJIT KAUR on Apr 7 2021, 09:11 AM

The benefits of fluoride

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is one of the essential minerals present in your bones and teeth, much like calcium. It offers several benefits to the teeth; the prominent among would be the protection from cavities. A naturally occurring mineral, fluoride, is found in the following sources:

  • water
  • rocks
  • soil
  • plants
  • air

In the U.S, fluoride is also added in small amounts to public water supplies through a process called water fluoridation to help prevent cavities and acid-related enamel wear. Fluoride is also an ingredient of dental treatments like tooth sealants and over-the-counter (OTC) products like toothpaste, mouth rinses, and supplements to add protection from cavity formation. 

What are the benefits of fluoride?

The main advantage of fluoride is that it helps prevent tooth decay and cavities.

Fluoride benefits the teeth in the following ways: 

  • by remineralizing weakened tooth enamel
  • slowing down the mineral loss from tooth enamel
  • reversing early stages of tooth decay
  • helping inhibit the growth of unhealthy oral bacteria

When applied topically or ingested orally, fluoride blends into tooth enamel, protect the teeth, or help repair the existing damage.

Cavities occur as a result of the microbial activity in the mouth. These bacteria in the mouth release acids that lead to demineralization, causing a weakened structure of the enamel.  What initially began as small holes due to the enamel erosion eventually becomes deeper and wider due to the decay of the tooth tissues. Fluoride helps remineralization by supplementing the minerals that get eliminated during the demineralization process. This helps strengthen the teeth, reduce the chances of further tooth decay, or reverse the early stages of tooth decay.

Who are the ideal candidates for fluoride treatments?

Though fluoride treatments can benefit everyone to achieve a healthy, cavity-free set of teeth, they can be more beneficial to people who endure the following conditions:

  • Gum disease - gingivitis or periodontitis
  • Dry mouth (xerostomia)
  • Recurrent cavities

Procedure

At Hallmark Denta, Saint George, UT, our dentists provide fluoride treatments in the form of highly concentrated foam, oral rinse, or gel and apply them to the teeth topically as toothpaste, mouthwash, foam-filled trays, or as professional dental application. Depending on your condition, we may also ask you to take medical fluoride supplements. The main reason to have professional fluoride treatment done once in a while is that they provide more protection to the teeth because of their higher fluoride concentration than the fluoride present in water or toothpaste.

During the procedure, the dentist will apply fluoride to your teeth. You should avoid consuming foods or drinks for at least 30 minutes after the treatment to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride. Dentists suggest children have a professional fluoride application during their dental checkups to prevent cavities. 

The bottom line

Fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel and prevents the occurrence of cavities. Watch your fluoride intake, and opt for professional fluoride treatments if needed.

Call Hallmark Dental Group, Saint George, UT at (435) 634-8338 or schedule an appointment online.





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