Treating your teeth with fluoride to strengthen enamel is a safe and effective option when applied appropriately. We may recommend a fluoride treatment following your professional cleaning if we spot areas of thin enamel. This will help boost the natural enamel mineralization. At River's Edge Dental, we encourage preventive measures to having and maintaining a healthy mouth, including the addition of fluoride as directed.
What is fluoride and how does it help my oral health?
Fluoride is a mineral found in some of the foods we eat and the water we drink. Our teeth are made of enamel, which is a mineral that our body produces. Fluoride can strengthen our enamel by working with it and providing an additional layer of strength. What many may not realize is that our teeth are constantly shedding and rebuilding the hard enamel layer. If we viewed our teeth under a microscope we would see that they are not solid sheets, rather they are mashed together shards. As we use our teeth, these shards are shed and our teeth need to rebuild.
Observations in the early 20th century found that people who drank water with fluoride present had stronger, healthier teeth. Studies were conducted and we soon discovered that while the teeth were rebuilt, or remineralized, if the person had fluoride present both topically and systemically, that they had healthier teeth. Systemic fluoridation occurs from eating foods with fluoride present. Topical fluoridation occurs from drinking water with fluoride.
Today, we have access to fluoride from multiple sources. Foods that are high in fluoride include grapes, spinach, potatoes, and more. Many public, or city, water systems add a small level of fluoride to our drinking water. Many over the counter tooth products such as toothpastes and rinses contain fluoride. Additionally, if we see spots where enamel has thinned, we can apply fluoride directly to the teeth through a fluoride treatment.
In Office Fluoride Treatment
When we see that a boost of fluoride would be beneficial, we will suggest treatment following a cleaning or exam. This is a painless procedure that is done quickly and easily. Fluoride treatments done in our office use a higher concentration of fluoride than can be purchased at a store. It can be applied in a few different ways including:
Each of these products are applied to the teeth, followed by a period of waiting, and then spat or rinsed. We will then advise you to wait thirty minutes before consuming food or drink to allow the topical application time to work.
I have heard negative reports about fluoride
Fluoride can be a highly beneficial treatment, but it can be overused. We recommend following safety guidelines and only using the correct amount. Our team is happy to discuss the negative effects of fluoride when it is used inappropriately. The most common risk is a discoloration of the teeth, which can be corrected through whitening, though some allergic reactions have occurred.
For more information on fluoride treatments, contact our office at (406) 315-5882.
What our patients are saying about us
"I was very impressed with Rivers Edge Dental. All Dr.'s are friendly and professional and their staff is outstanding. The office was beautiful with a view of the river. I will be coming back and bringing my whole family for care." ~ Stephanie K.