Good oral health is essential to good health overall. This is why it’s so important to practice regular brushing, flossing, and eating healthy foods. By now you probably know that taking your child to the dentist for checkups can go a long way in protecting their oral health.
Your dentist can catch things that you might not be aware of before the problem becomes worse, and in so doing protect your child’s teeth from serious damage. One of the things your dentist can do to protect teeth from decay is to offer a fluoride treatment.
Fluoride treatments are essential to protecting and strengthening your child’s teeth, especially while they’re young and still learning how to develop those good oral hygiene habits.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of having a fluoride treatment and what you can expect:
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a natural mineral that is consumed naturally in some of the foods we eat or applied topically during dental visits to help prevent cavities and build strong teeth. It’s been relied on in oral health treatments for decades.
Fluoride fights bacteria and supports healthy tooth enamel (the outer protective layer of the teeth). Sugary or acidic foods and beverages can break down the enamel of the teeth causing you to lose fluoride and that protective barrier. If you lose more fluoride than you gain, it can lead to tooth decay.
You may recall having a fluoride treatment when you were a kid. Your dentist would fill a mouthguard with a fluoride gel and then ask you to bite down for 10 minutes. Though these treatments are often associated with childhood, there are benefits to fluoride treatments no matter your age.
Lower Your Dental Bills
Many dentists will recommend that all of their patients receive fluoride treatments, whether they’re old or young. These treatments are typically part of regular checkup for kids. Adults can expect to pay for the added protection if you’re an adult.
But, if you compare what you’ll pay for a fluoride treatment vs. what you could pay in dental bills as the result of tooth decay, you’ll actually save money.
Paying for preventative care ahead of time is almost always more affordable than paying for any damage done.
So what are the benefits of fluoride treatments? A healthier smile and savings in the long run. And since fluoride treatments do not cost any extra for younger patients, it’s a no-brainer!
Protect Their Smile
There are so many things you can do to take care of your child’s oral health and keep their smile beautiful for years to come. Some of these efforts include looking after their diet, avoiding activities that could put their teeth at risk of getting chipped or knocked out, drinking plenty of water, avoiding sugary drinks, and regular flossing.
Receiving fluoride treatments is just another way that you can protect their smile. As fluoride fights off tooth decay, you’ll be able to enjoy healthy, well-preserved teeth. Getting these treatments regularly is a great way to keep the effects of aging at bay when it comes to their teeth, even years and years in advance.
Fluoride treatments seep into the enamel and pull in phosphate and calcium that is present in the saliva. These minerals all together boost the teeth’s ability to heal and make them much more resistant to future damage and decay. Some studies also suggest that fluoride makes it more difficult for bacteria to stick to the surface of the teeth to grow.
And once again, it’s much cheaper to pay for a regular fluoride treatment than extensive cosmetic procedures down the road if you have to replace many teeth trying to replace what was lost.
Is Fluoride Safe?
While many patients wonder, “What are the benefits of fluoride treatments?” others want to know if fluoride is safe. Thankfully there have been many studies to determine the effects of fluoride treatments.
Extensive research has proven time and time again that fluoride is indeed safe when used at the appropriate levels. In fact, there are 80 years worth of research determining the benefits of using fluoride in drinking water, supplements, toothpaste, and even mouth rinse.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has deemed the addition of fluoride in drinking water as one of the most cost-effective and successful methods for preventing community-based tooth decay.
What Should I Expect During a Professional Fluoride Treatment?
When your dentist performs a fluoride treatment, there are a couple of ways that he or she might go about it. Fluoride treatments are topically applied in the form of a varnish, gel, foam, or a highly concentrated rinse.
The treatment might be applied with the help of a tray or mouth guard, brush, swab, or mouthwash.
These treatments have higher concentrations of fluoride than what you’d find in your drinking water or toothpaste.
Application only takes a few minutes and doesn’t hurt at all. Your dentist will probably ask you to avoid eating or drinking anything for at least 30 minutes after the treatment so that the fluoride can be fully absorbed into the teeth.
Be sure to clue your dentist into everything in your child’s oral health history so that the right treatments can be given.
Schedule an Appointment
Now that you’ve learned some of the benefits of having a fluoride treatment given to your child, we invite you to schedule an appointment with us today!
Our team is dedicated to the health of our young patients and in teaching them how to take care of their teeth so they can enjoy a healthy smile for a lifetime.
We look forward to seeing you!