TLC Fluoride Treatment
Fluoride is a mineral that is found naturally in air, water, soil, and foods such meat, fish, eggs, and tea. It also is found in city water systems, toothpastes, mouthwashes, pills and gels and it is essential to the formation and maintenance of healthy teeth.
Enamel, the outer layer of a tooth, is composed of dense mineral crystals that are continuously dissolved by acids formed by plaque bacteria in a process called demineralization. In turn, minerals such as calcium and phosphate are continuously redeposited in the enamel and are facilitated and hardened by fluoride. Without this process of remineralization your teeth would decay.
Forms of Fluoride
Fluoride is either topical or systemic in form. Topical fluorides, including toothpastes, mouthwashes, and professional fluoride treatments, are applied directly to tooth enamel. Systemic fluorides in food, water, and dietary supplements are ingested and provide dental benefits systemically. A combination of topical and systemic fluorides is deemed most beneficial by the American Dental Association.
Benefits of Fluoride
- Hardens the enamel of baby teeth
- Hardens the enamel of unerupted and erupted permanent teeth
- Reverses early decay
- Disrupts acid formation in the teeth of children and adults
- Deters the formation of cavities
Risks of Fluoride
Normally fluoride is exceptionally beneficial but there can be too much of a good thing for in high doses it may be hazardous, particularly to children for who might develop fluorosis and teeth discoloration. This easily treatable condition largely results from children drinking well water with high fluoride levels or swallowing excessive amounts of toothpaste and/or supplementary pills. It does not derive from municipal fluoridated water that has safe and strictly controlled levels of fluoridation.
Fluoride Supplements and Treatments
The dental health of some children and adults may require additional fluoride. Children who have cavities, who are at high risk for cavities, or who do not drink fluoridated water might require fluoride supplements to avoid the risks of fluoride deficiency.
You might need additional fluoride if:
- You are taking certain medications
- You suffer from dry mouth (xerostomia)
- You suffer from gingivitis
- You have loose gum pockets
- You wear braces
- You have crowns and/or bridges
- You almost exclusively drink bottled or well water lacking fluoride
If you or any member of your family is subject to these risk factors, you should promptly contact TLC Dental for a consultation to determine whether fluoride supplements and/or treatments would be needed to provide for your dental health.
TLC Fluoride Treatment
Our professional fluoride treatments are short and simple procedures that contain prescription strength fluoride not available in supermarket toothpaste and mouthwashes. First, we carefully examine your teeth to personalize your fluoride treatment.and select a type of fluoride best suited for your dental condition. We then determine your most appropriate form of treatment either as a gel, foam, varnish or rinse applied with a swab, brush, or tray. The entire process takes only minutes after which we advise you to refrain from eating, drinking, or rinsing for thirty minutes.
The durability of your TLC fluoride treatment depends on your dental condition. If you are at a moderate or high risk of developing caries, we may recommend additional treatments every three, six, or twelve months as well as prescription fluoride toothpastes, gels, or rinses to assure your dental health.
Throughout your fluoride treatment you will enjoy the comfort of our signature “Gentle Dentistry.”
For definitions related to fluoride consult Dr. Rothenberg’s Dental Dictionary.