Clearing the Air on Common Fluoride Misconceptions

fluoride misconceptionsPoway and Rancho Bernardo, CA

Fluoride, we’ve probably all heard the term. It’s been used in dentistry for more than a century. Your Poway family dentist at Smiles by Dr. Cook wants you to know about all of the oral health benefits of fluoride. Most brands of toothpaste and store-bought mouthwashes have fluoride in them, but did you know that your dentist offers a concentrated fluoride formula that only can be administered to provide you with even more protection for your teeth? Professional fluoride treatments are topically applied prescription-strength treatments that are administered by dental professionals such as your dentist or dental hygienist.

There are some common misconceptions about fluoride

People may assume that fluoride is harmful, is just for kids, or that if offers no benefits to adults. Dr. Cook is here to prove these common misconceptions wrong, and shed some light on the benefits of fluoride treatments.

Fluoride is safe

Fluoride is actually a natural-occurring mineral. It is safe by all scientific standards and studies for use in dental hygiene. While fluoride is safe to apply to your teeth, or use in products such as toothpastes and mouth rinses, take care not to ingest any of these substances.

Fluoride treatments are not just for kids

Children getting fluoride treatments is something you hear fairly often. This does not mean that it is only for children. While most effective when applied to children’s teeth as their adult teeth are erupting, fluoride provides a range of benefits for both children and adults.

Your teeth always are going back and forth between demineralization and remineralization. Saliva has a naturally occurring mineral that remineralizes your teeth, but bacteria from food acids break down the mineralization. This can weaken your tooth enamel, making it more susceptible to cavities and sensitivity. Fluoride kicks that remineralization process back into high gear, making the enamel on your teeth harder and stronger, and helps prevent future cavities from developing. Therefore, fluoride is a safe and effective way for patients of all ages to keep their teeth healthy.

Get the facts on fluoride treatments

Here are some other common questions we get when parents ask about fluoride treatments:

Does fluoride stain teeth?

Fluorosis may occur if a child under age 8 or a pregnant mother receives an overabundance of fluoride. Lacey, white-looking markings, surface irregularities, or pits may be noticeable on the child’s teeth after they erupt. Regular visits to your family dentist in Poway can help you determine the right amount of fluoride for you or your child to prevent this issue.

Are fluoride treatments invasive?

Not in the least bit! Fluoride treatments are simple as they involve your dental care professional painting a varnish over all surfaces of your teeth. Sometimes, fluoride treatments may be administered in gel form using a tray that comfortably fits over your teeth and left to activate for a set amount of minutes. Either way, fluoride treatments are simple, easy, and painless.

Can I eat or drink after a treatment?

It is recommended that you wait 30 minutes to eat, drink, or brush your teeth following a fluoride treatment, or you could end up rinsing away the solution, rendering it less effective, or not effective at all.

Is it expensive?

The expense related to a simple fluoride procedure like this may seem like an added cost for some budgets. However, most dental insurance plans cover fluoride treatments for children under the age of 18. Adults, however, may need to foot the bill out of their own pocket. Still, it is drastically less expensive than the cost of fixing decayed and damaged teeth. Think of the money you could save in the long run by not having to pay for fillings, or other dental restorations that could have stemmed from cavities or tooth decay.

Fluoride treatments in Poway

Fluoride is an all-natural, painless way to provide additional protection for both your teeth and your wallet. Click here to learn more about how Smiles by Dr. Cook can use fluoride treatments to benefit your oral health. To schedule an appointment, please call (858) 673-0141 or contact Smiles by Dr. Cook today. We welcome patients of Poway and Rancho Bernardo, California.

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