Fluoride is a natural mineral that builds strong teeth and prevents cavities. It’s an essential oral health treatment. Fluoride also supports healthy tooth enamel and fight bacteria that harm your teeth and gums.
It’s especially helpful if you’re at higher risk of developing dental caries and cavities. These occur when bacteria builds up and forms a sticky layer of plaque. This layer produces an acid, which erodes teeth and gum tissue. If it breaks down the enamel layer, bacteria can infect the nerves at the core of the tooth.
As you already know the positive effects of fluoride on your teeth, the experienced professional in preventive dentistry – Dr. Gallegos, is here to answer the most frequently asked questions about fluoride treatment.
A professional fluoride treatment is a preventative dental therapy, that is easy to do, but keeps your smile bright and healthy for a long time. It’s provided in the form of a highly concentrated rinse, foam, gel or varnish.
This treatment has much more fluoride than what’s in your mouthwash or toothpaste. However, it only takes a few minutes to apply. Afterward, you should avoid eating or drinking for 30 minutes, so that the fluoride can fully absorb.
The sodium fluoride, found in prescription-based toothpastes can support remineralization of teeth and makes it possible to heal cavities. Fluoride is safe and effective when used as directed, but it can be hazardous at high doses.
Excess fluoride used by children can cause defects in the tooth enamel that range from barely noticeable to white specks or streaks to cosmetically objectionable brown discoloration. These defects could occur while teeth are forming (under the age of 6).
That’s why it’s important to always consult with your family dentist, as he can determine whether you need fluoride treatment and if you do, he’ll do it in the best way possible for you. As long as the medicine is used as directed, it’s completely safe.
The safest course would obviously be to postpone all unnecessary dental work until after the birth. No numbing drugs are used during the fluoride treatment, so there are no potential risks. However, if you want to get this therapy done, schedule your dental appointment for no later than the third trimester, as it might start getting difficult for you to lie on your back.
Keeping good oral health during pregnancy is crucial. Make sure to communicate with your dentist in this period and discuss the products you use in your dental routine, as well as any dental treatment you might consider.
Like any medication, too much fluoride can cause negative complications. Overdosing fluoride might cause nausea, tiredness or excessive sweating. However, fluoride poisoning is very rare nowadays. An experienced dentist can’t use the wrong dosing, so there is nothing you should worry about.
Dr. Gallegos recommends a fluoride treatment once every 3, 6 or 12 months depending on your dental peculiarities. If you are at higher risk of developing caries, he advises taking additional precautions that will minimize this threat.
A fluoride treatment works longer and more efficient than anything you might use at home. It’s quick, painless and usually low cost, so the ideal case would be to have one during your regular twice-a-year dental checkups.
Fluoride treatment is a completely safe procedure that could be done even during pregnancy. Fluoride is a natural mineral that prevents cavities. It restores minerals to tooth enamel and prevents harmful bacteria from building up in the mouth.
Oral health could affect other body functions and overall health as well. That’s why you should take good care of it. If you have any other questions or concerns, Dr. Gallegos and his team are ready to help you. Don’t hesitate and contact Gallegos Family Dentistry today!