Fluoride is a crucial tool in protecting your teeth from decay. The decay process is a race between factors that remove minerals from your enamel, and those that replace minerals in your enamel. Fluoride helps to speed the process of adding minerals to your teeth. Fluoride treatments supply fluoride directly to your teeth, protecting them from decay.
Fluoride treatments are valuable for adults at high risk of tooth decay and children. If you think that fluoride treatments might help you avoid tooth decay and want to learn more, please call (858) 271-1010 or contact us online today for an appointment with Scripps Ranch dentist Dr. Ramin Goshtasbi at Oasis Dental Arts.
Who Benefits from Fluoride Treatments?
Extensive research has been done into the safety and effectiveness of fluoride treatments. Not everyone will benefit from fluoride treatments, but for some people fluoride treatments can be a real tooth-saver.
People who are known to benefit from fluoride treatments include:
- Adults with moderate to high risk of tooth decay
In these patients, regular treatment with topical fluoride can significantly reduce the risk of developing cavities.
What Is My Tooth Decay Risk?
Tooth decay is a complex phenomenon, made up of many different factors. Some of the more common risk factors we will consider include:
- Previous tooth decay (1 or 2 cavities in past 3 years= moderate risk, 3 + cavities = high risk)
- Poor oral hygiene (including people who cannot clean teeth due to physical or mental health status)
- Frequent snacking and/or consumption of acidic or sweetened beverages
- Eating disorders
- Genetic tooth defects
- Poor oral health in family
- Dry mouth
- Chemotherapy or radiation treatment
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Exposed tooth roots
- Orthodontic treatment
- Existing restorations
The strongest indicator of future cavity risk is your past history of tooth decay.
Oral hygiene can reduce your cavity risk. When hygiene isn’t thorough or regular, it can increase decay risk.
Eating habits also have a profound effect on tooth decay. Eating sugary foods, snacking frequently, and drinking acidic or sweetened beverages can accelerate tooth decay. Eating disorders can lead to unhealthy eating habits and destructive purging habits.
Genetic tooth defects and family norms of eating and oral hygiene can cause high tooth decay risk to run in families.
Dry mouth may also be genetically determined, but it’s also related to age, medications, or chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
Drug and alcohol abuse can be destructive of your teeth and gums. But frequent snacking and poor oral hygiene can account for much of the risk.
Orthodontic treatment can increase your need for oral hygiene. If your oral hygiene routine doesn’t improve, your cavity risk may increase.
Existing restorations are signs of past decay, but they are also places where oral bacteria and food can accumulate, acting as a focus of decay.
If you have some of these risk factors, you will likely benefit from topical fluoride treatment.
How Topical Fluoride Works
During your next dental exam, we will consider your decay risk and decide whether topical fluoride will help you. If we decide that fluoride is best for you, we will decide which fluoride treatment is best. Different fluoride treatments include:
These provide different levels of protection, and are tolerated differently depending on your personal sensitivity. We will work with you to find the most effective and least intrusive treatment for you.
Is Fluoride Toxic?
Yes. Fluoride can be a toxic substance, but toxicity depends on dosage. Almonds contain deadly cyanide, and even water or oxygen can be deadly if too much is consumed. Much research has been done on the proper level of fluoride to protect teeth without causing injury.
However, many people are nervous about regularly consuming a toxic substance like fluoride and avoid municipal water and other sources of systemic fluoride.
For these people, a topical fluoride treatment can be vital. It protects your teeth, but little if any fluoride enters your system. It can protect your teeth and help you avoid the side effects of fluoride exposure.
Are You Looking for Fluoride Treatments in Scripps Ranch?
If you think fluoride treatments might help protect your teeth against decay, please call (858) 271-1010 today for an appointment with Scripps Ranch dentist Dr. Ramin Goshtasbi.