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All About Fluoride Treatments for Dental Care

Fluoride for Tooth Health

Fluoride is a natural element found in drinking water and various foods. It is beneficial to our oral health, because it helps protect teeth from decay by strengthening the outer layers of enamel by restoring certain minerals. Fluoride also helps kill bacteria that can be damaging to teeth and gums. This means it is especially important for fighting cavities. Cavities are caused by bacteria that are left to build up on and between tooth surfaces, eventually creating plaque, which slowly erodes teeth and damages gum tissue.

Teeth often have crevices and grooves on their surfaces, which are prime breeding grounds for bacteria. Food particles get stuck on these uneven surfaces, and eventually bacteria and plaque collect, increasing the chances of developing cavities. Fluoride treatments prevent this from happening because fluoride strengthens tooth structure.

Fluoride plays an important role in our dental health. It is used in toothpastes and our drinking water to help strengthen and protect our teeth. It is also valuable for our children’s oral health. Children who utilize fluoride are much less likely to develop cavities than children who are not.

However, children should not be exposed to quite as much fluoride as adults, even if it is good for their teeth. Children should never consume fluoride toothpaste, or take in an unsafe amount via food or water. For children three to six years old, it is recommended they use only a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste on their toothbrush while brushing. An adult should always supervise brushing time for young children.

Fluoride Treatments

Getting a fluoride treatment is easy and effective. It involves the application of a highly concentrated fluoride rinse, foam, gel, or varnish to your teeth. Your dentist may use a swab, tray, or brush to apply the fluoride treatment.

The concentrated fluoride will be quickly absorbed by your teeth in a short length of time, strengthening them and protecting them against cavities almost immediately. Patients can receive professional fluoride treatments every three to twelve months if their dentist recommends.

What are Some Side Effects of Fluoride Poisoning?

Fluoride poisoning is rare, however, it is possible for an individual to suffer a toxic reaction to fluoride. Accidentally ingesting too much over time (overexposure), overdosing on fluoride supplements, or accidental ingestion (e.g. if a person drinks fluoride rinse by mistake), can occur and result in dangerous side effects.

It is important to be aware of the possible side effects of fluoride poisoning so you can recognize it right away. Side effects of fluoride poisoning may include:

  • White specks on teeth
  • Dense yet weak bones
  • Stained or pitted teeth
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

General, Restorative, & Cosmetic Dentistry in Park Ridge

Getting a fluoride treatment should never be difficult or time consuming. Contact Beyond Smiles of Park Ridge for reliable, trusted dental care in Park Ridge, IL and talk to one of our team members to find out if fluoride treatments are right for you.

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Chicago Dental Society Seattle Study Club Pankey Americal Dental Association Kiwanis International Loyola University Chicago Illinois State Dental Society