It doesn’t take a dentist to know that fluoride is good for our teeth: it’s one of the first things we are taught as kids, and something most of us could recall at a moment’s notice. It’s been a public health fact for as long as most of us have been alive, so it stands to reason that for the treatment and prevention of tooth decay, fluoride is going to have beneficial effects.
Of course, to some extent, we are getting fluoride treatment every day – it’s found in the water supply and in many foods, as well as being in the toothpaste we use morning and night. However, a fluoride treatment from a dentist can make a bigger difference than can ever be achieved simply from drinking the occasional glass of water. Before we go any further, it is important to note that there are two types of fluoride that benefit our teeth.
Systemic fluoride, which is found in our diets and daily routines, and is essential for the long-term building of healthy teeth.
Topical fluoride, which is applied directly to the teeth; this can be in the form of toothpaste, mouthwash or any other treatment that is directed by an expert.
When you visit Polished Dental Studio for a fluoride treatment in Lincoln Park, you will be receiving topical fluoride. The fluoride will be a highly concentrated compound that contains much more of the mineral than a glass of water or even the toothpaste that you use on a daily basis. The idea is that the fluoride will coat the teeth and be absorbed beyond the surface, fighting tooth decay in a more concentrated fashion.
It is generally recommended that you do not eat or drink for at least 30 minutes after a round at a fluoride treatment dentist appointment. This is to allow the mineral to be fully absorbed and for your teeth to get the maximal benefit from treatment.
Who needs fluoride treatment?
Your dentist may recommend fluoride treatment if you are showing signs of tooth decay, which can include some or all of the following:
- Pitting or cracking on the surface of the teeth
- Exposed roots visible on oral inspection
- Sensitivity in the teeth
It may also be the case that your teeth have been exposed to decay for reasons such as long-term neglect of brushing and cleaning habits, frequent consumption of sugar- or carbohydrate-heavy foods, inadequate production of saliva (dry mouth) resulting from a medical condition or treatment. In any of the above cases, the application of fluoride treatment can make a significant positive difference to the condition of your teeth.
It is important to note that fluoride treatment alone cannot make as much of a difference to your dental health as is required. The treatment needs to be followed by a strict regimen of twice-daily brushing, a balanced and healthy diet avoiding sugary foods, and regular attendance for dental assessment and possible ongoing treatment. The benefits of concentrated fluoride treatment are substantial and undeniable, but they can only be maintained by hard work on your part.