Fluoride is a mineral that prevents tooth decay and supports strong teeth. Fluoride has been used for decades to fight harmful bacteria and strengthen tooth enamel (the protective layer of each tooth). If you’re at high risk for developing cavities or have compromised tooth enamel, you may want to consider adding professional fluoride treatment as part of your routine. Our orthodontist in Chapel Hill explains more below.
How Does It Work?
Professional fluoride treatments are offered in a highly concentrated varnish, rinse, foam, or gel. These options have more fluoride than toothpaste or water and only take a few minutes. After application, you will need to avoid eating and drinking for 30 minutes so the fluoride can work.
Who Should Get Fluoride Treatment?
The American Dental Association recommends getting a professional fluoride treatment every three to six months, or yearly, depending on your dental health. If you have frequent cavities, you will likely be advised to have more frequent treatments and may be prescribed a take-home fluoride rinse. Some factors that can increase your risk of cavities include:
- Excess sugar intake
- Dry mouth
- Weak enamel
- Infrequent dental cleanings
- Not brushing or flossing
Benefits of Fluoride
Fluoride restores minerals to the surface of the tooth, strengthening the enamel and preventing bacteria buildup. This reduces your risk of tooth decay and can also reduce sensitivity. Treatments benefit both children and adults but receiving fluoride treatments earlier means less risk for developing cavities overall.
Too much fluoride can have adverse side effects, such as white specks or staining of the teeth. However, your doctor will know how much fluoride to administer to prevent this from happening. Following treatment, you should continue to use a fluoridated toothpaste twice a day, floss regularly, and get regular oral exams to ensure your teeth and gums are healthy!
Contact Our Orthodontist in Chapel Hill Today to Find Out More!
The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about retainers and other topics related to orthodontic treatment, feel free to contact Wilson Orthodontics, with a convenient orthodontic office in Chapel Hill by clicking here or by calling 919.371.0384.