Should You Opt in or Out of Fluoride Treatments?

Should You Opt in or Out of Fluoride Treatments?

Mar 01, 2019

Fluoride is a mineral that naturally occurs in all water sources, including the oceans. Municipal water systems replace the fluoride in the water removed during treatment. Fluoride is proven to strengthen the tooth’s enamel and to repair teeth in the early stages of decay.

Dr. Thu Nguyen and the oral healthcare professionals at Almeda Dental, located near in you on Almeda Genoa Road in Houston, Texas, want to educate their patients, current and new, on the importance and the benefits of fluoride treatments.

Known Habits in the Houston Area

Everyone knows, or should know, that brushing twice every day, and flossing at least once, are effective habits. Another known habit is incorporation of fluoride in oral healthcare. Fluoride treatments come in two forms, topical and systemic.

Topical Fluoride Treatments

Topical treatments apply the fluoride directly on the tooth’s enamel by toothpastes, rinses and professional treatments at the dentist’s office. The dentist may use fluoride in the form of a solution, gel, foam or varnish, all of which are of a higher concentration than store products.

The fluoride may be applied with a cotton swab or in a tray placed over the teeth. A fluoride treatment takes only a few minutes.

After a fluoride treatment, the patient will be instructed not to rinse, eat or drink for 30 minutes to allow the fluoride to be absorbed by the teeth. A helpful hint after brushing is not to rinse the fluoride toothpaste from the mouth, just spit it out.

Systemic Fluoride Treatments

Systemic fluorides are swallowed, like fluoridated water or dietary supplements.

One will receive maximum protection against tooth decay when fluoride is used topically and taken systemically.

What Age Should Fluoride Treatments Begin?

Oral healthcare begins when the first tooth erupts. As a child’s teeth begin to cut through the gumline, the dentist may recommend fluoride varnish treatments 2-4 times per year.

Are Fluoride Treatments Safe for Children?

Yes. The amount of fluoride used in treatments are safe, but parents should follow the instructions and the recommendations of the dentist and the pediatrician until the child reaches the age of 6.

Since the fluoride used in treatments performed at the dentist’s office are of a higher concentration than what is contained in store-bought products, it is advised that non-fluoridated toothpastes be used in brushing a child’s teeth until the child learns to spit, and not swallow. The swallowing of excessive amounts of fluoride can be harmful.

Depending upon the oral health of each family member, fluoride treatments may be recommended from 1-3 times every year. For patients at a high risk of decay, the dentist may prescribe other preventative treatments like prescription therapeutic products containing fluoride or anti-bacterial rinses and gels.

If you would like a consultation for additional information on fluoride treatments for you and members of your family, then please contact the oral healthcare professionals at Almeda Dental, located in the 77075 area code of Houston, Texas, where new patients are always welcome.

Almeda Dental is trusted and highly recommended for fluoride treatments, as well as other treatments and procedures and general and cosmetic dentistry.