Fluoride has been an essential element of oral health for decades. The substance is a naturally occurring mineral that helps strengthen teeth and fight cavities. It’s added to our water, and dentists use concentrated treatments daily to help maintain healthy smiles, but what is fluoride, and how does it benefit your teeth? Boger Dental is talking about the pros and cons of fluoride to help you understand this important aspect of your treatment!
What is fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral found in your bones and teeth but also in trace amounts in water, soil, plants, rocks, and even air! Dentists use fluoride treatments to strengthen your enamel, the outer layer of your teeth. This substance helps fight cavities to prevent tooth decay and further damage.
So, you know that fluoride occurs naturally, so why is it added to water and toothpaste and your dental treatment checklist? Much like we take vitamins and supplements to improve our overall health, extra fluoride helps improve dental health.
Pros of fluoride
Fluoride restores minerals to the surface of your teeth, where bacteria have eroded the enamel, and slows down the natural demineralization of your teeth. Fluoride treatments with Boger Dental can even reverse the signs of tooth decay and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
Everyone can benefit from fluoride treatments, and when started in childhood, kids are less likely to develop cavities and decay.
Cons of fluoride
Like most things, fluoride is best in controlled amounts and can have some adverse effects if you have too much. You can get too much fluoride from water with extremely high mineral quantities or swallow too much toothpaste. Too much fluoride can cause:
- white specks on permanent teeth
- staining and pitting on teeth
- problems with bone homeostasis
- dense yet brittle bones
While fluoride poisoning is pretty rare, you should always supervise young children as they brush, and if you’re prescribed fluoride pills, be sure to keep them out of reach of children and only take them as prescribed.
Professional fluoride treatments
At Boger Dental, we provide professional fluoride treatments for your family. We’ll apply a fluoride concentrate with a swab, brush, tray, or mouthwash. The process is quick, easy, and painless. You’ll need to avoid eating or drinking 30 minutes after treatment so your teeth can fully absorb the substance.
We’ll review your dental health history to determine the type of treatment and amount that will benefit your smile.
How much fluoride do you need?
Depending on your oral health, we recommend fluoride treatments every three, six, or twelve months. If you’re at high risk for cavities, we may suggest additional treatment, too. Things that increase your risk for cavities include:
- poor oral hygiene
- lack of professional dental care
- poor diet
- dry mouth
- excessive drug and alcohol use
- eating disorders
Get a healthier smile with Boger Dental
Fluoride is a great way to naturally protect your smile from harmful bacteria, cavities, and tooth decay. You should use fluoridated toothpaste twice a day to keep your teeth healthy and strong, and consult Boger Dental if you have any concerns about the amount of fluoride you use. Our team will help you create healthy oral habits and a strong smile to last for life!