Dentists have been using fluoride treatments for decades, and fluoridated toothpaste and water also helps with improving the health and durability of your teeth. However, fluoride has been the center of many controversies. We can dispel the myths surrounding fluoride and explain why it’s vital to healthy teeth.
Dr. Margaret Culotta-Norton provides dental care to those living in the Washington, DC, area. This includes routine checkups, dental cleanings, and fluoride treatments. If it’s been a while since your last cleaning, adding a fluoride treatment can ensure that your teeth are well-protected until next time.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that’s vital to building strong, healthy teeth. Fluoride helps support tooth enamel, which protects the inside of your tooth from bacteria. Once the enamel wears away, it cannot be replaced. This is why it’s important that you keep your teeth clean and encourage healthy enamel. Fluoridated toothpaste, water, and regular treatments can strengthen your teeth and protect them from decay.
Fluoride can be applied to your teeth in a number of ways: through concentrated mouthwash, varnish, or gel. You need to let the fluoride sit for a little while before eating or drinking, otherwise the treatment won’t have time to work. It’s recommended that you receive a fluoride treatment every 6-12 months, or whenever you receive a cleaning.
These treatments are remarkably effective, especially in children. Studies show that kids who receive fluoride treatments are 43% less likely to develop cavities, and people who drink fluoridated water are 40-60% less likely to suffer from tooth decay. Using fluoridated toothpaste at home can also help strengthen your teeth.
Safety of fluoride
There has been massive speculation regarding the safety of fluoride, especially in drinking water. However, fluoride poisoning is extremely rare, and drinking fluoridated water, receiving fluoride treatments, and using toothpaste are completely safe. As long as you don’t swallow toothpaste or overdose on fluoride pills, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll encounter any issues.
Even professional fluoride treatments, which use a higher concentration of fluoride than what’s found in toothpaste and mouthwash, only contain a very small amount. Your dentist will supervise and perform this treatment with care to make sure that you don’t receive too much.
If you’re concerned about the use of fluoride in you or your child’s treatment, you can discuss it with your dentist. To get in touch with Dr. Culotta-Norton and her team, you can call 202-833-1111, or request an appointment online.