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What is Fluoride Treatment and is it Necessary?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that appears in the water and food we eat, and it’s so omnipresent that you might be led to believe that you’re getting enough of it to enjoy all its wonderful benefit. However, that’s not often not the case!

A fluoride treatment may be necessary for those who are at risk for cavities and tooth decay.

Treatment is simple, and will vary depending on your situation. Some treatments are just topical applications of a gel-like substance on your teeth, and others may be pills or medical-grade fluoride water if your particular case calls for it. Most patients may require just one or two treatments per year.

Who needs fluoride treatments?

Any patient who has had cavities in the past or is at risk for future cavities should consider speaking to their dentist about fluoride treatments. These people may be those who:

  • Are children or young teens
  • Are those with poor oral hygiene
  • Have a family or genetic history of dental issues
  • Live in places where fluoride isn’t common in the water source
  • Have eating disorders or are malnourished
  • Are drug or heavy alcohol abusers
  • Are undergoing radiation around the mouth, or chemotherapy
  • Have no access to dental insurance or ongoing dental care

Everyon’s case is different, so it’s important to talk with your dentist to see if you’re a risk for tooth decay.

Is fluoride safe?

A common misconception that many have about this mineral is that abnormal amounts of it can be cancerous or dangerous to your health. While it’s true that an intensely high exposure to anything can be detrimental, ample research around this topic has proven that fluoride is perfectly safe for human use and that there is no direct link between fluoride and cancer.

In fact, the CDC considers the fluoridation of drinking water to be one of the top 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century in the U.S. However, with the use of bottled water on the rise these days, people are drinking less tap water and thus not getting enough fluoride as they used to.

One way to think about fluoride’s benefits is to consider that fluoride is to your teeth as chlorine is to swimming pools. Without chlorine, a whole host of bacteria and possible diseases can grow in the swimming pool’s water. However, with a little bit of chlorine and cleaning, these dangers are greatly reduced. That’s similar to how fluoride works on your teeth – it cleans off the damaging bacteria and helps keep your mouth healthy!

If you’d like to speak to us more about fluoride treatments or if you’re ready to add this to your dental care regimen, please contact us here or call 562-434-6414.

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