Reading Dental Associates provides fluoride treatments for patients in the Reading, MA and nearby areas like Reading, North Reading, wilmington, Wakefield, Stoneham, Lynnfield and Woburn.
What Are Fluoride Treatments?
Fluoride is a natural occurring mineral found in foods and water. When acids due to sugars and plaque from bacteria attack the enamel of teeth, demineralization occurs.
When foods and water are ingested that contain fluoride, calcium, and phosphate, remineralization occurs to restore the enamel back to teeth. Fluoride treatments can be a solution if too much demineralization and not enough remineralization occurs. Fluoride treatments can prevent tooth decay from happening by helping weak enamel gain resistance to acids.
Types of Fluoride Treatments
- Fluoride can be found in a variety of nutritious foods and water
- Fluoride can be added to a variety of mouthwashes and toothpastes
- Stronger fluoride rinses can be prescribed by a dentist if necessary
- Stronger fluoride can be applied by your qualified dental care professional in a variety of ways at your annual checkup
- Fluoride supplements can be prescribed by your dentist or qualified doctor
Fluoride Treatment Benefits
Fluoride’s primary benefit is that it helps prevent tooth decay. The following groups all benefit from fluoride treatments:
- Children and teens whose permanent teeth are still developing are often the most important group who can benefit from fluoride
- People with cavities or gum disease who generally have a plaque buildup, either on their teeth and/or gums
- People who suffer from dry mouth conditions, which makes acids more resistant on teeth
- People with dental crowns or dental bridges, which make these teeth more susceptible to decay.
What to Expect
Fluoride treatments are usually given every six months after the patient's dental cleaning and exam or as often as the dentist recommends. The clean teeth are dried to avoid diluting the strength of the fluoride, then the treatment is administered to the patient as a gel, foam, or paint-on varnish that is left on for 1 - 4 minutes. To make fluoride treatments easier, the dentist will often add a flavor chosen by the patient. Once the treatment is complete, patients should be careful to spit all fluoride out of their mouth.
To ensure the fluoride fully penetrates the enamel, patients should not drink, eat, or smoke for at least 30 minutes after their fluoride treatment. Swallowing any of the fluoride may cause temporary nausea, but this should not last more than 24 hours. While fluoride can be dangerous in high doses, our dentists take care to give each patient a safe level of fluoride in their office and home treatment.
Are Fluoride Treatments Safe?
By having our experts as your main dentist and dental home, we can tell you how much fluoride treatment your child needs for the best protection.
When taken as directed by your dentist or qualified health care professional, fluoride treatments are safe and effective. When too much fluoride is taken, it may be hazardous to your health. This is particularly important for children and is advised that children under six years should not be given fluoride. When giving children toothpaste with fluoride, make sure only a pea-size of toothpaste is administered. In addition, put fluoride treatments away from children when storing.
Who needs professional fluoride treatments?
All children between the ages of six months and 16 years should receive professional fluoride treatments. During this period, the primary and permanent teeth are still developing and these children can benefit the most from professional treatment. However, it is still important that adults also receive professional treatment. According to the latest research, professional fluoride treatments can keep your teeth healthy and strong and prevent tooth decay.
If you suffer from any of these dental and medical conditions, it is particularly important that you receive enough fluoride:
- Dry mouth – a number of medical conditions and medications can cause this. When the mouth is dry, the lack of saliva allows bacteria to stick to your teeth and the other smooth surfaces in your mouth, which can lead to a number of dental and oral health issues.
- Periodontal disease – advanced gum disease can expose more of the tooth surface along with the root. This increases your chances of tooth decay, making receiving adequate fluoride especially important.
- Frequent cavities – adults who are diagnosed with at least one cavity every two years will likely benefit from receiving professional fluoride treatments.
- Dental restorations – orthodontics, dental bridges, and dental crowns can all increase your chances of developing tooth decay in certain cases. Keep your teeth healthy by receiving regular fluoride treatments.
Can you have a fluoride deficiency? Can you have a fluoride overdose?
If you do not get enough fluoride, you may suffer from fluoride deficiency, which may lead to increased cavities and weak bones. Though extremely rare, fluoride overdose can occur if you take more than the recommended amount. Symptoms of overdose include abdominal pain, headaches, and weakness. Call poison control immediately if you think you have overdosed.
Are at-home fluoride treatments effective?
Fluoridated toothpaste and mouth rinses can be used as at-home fluoride treatments. However, the fluoride concentration in these applications is much weaker and less effective than that found in in-office treatments.
How Much Do Fluoride Treatments Cost?
Fluoride treatments are considered a preventative measure and are usually covered by insurance for children who are 6 months - 16 years old twice a year as their teeth are developing. Insurance coverage for adult fluoride treatments vary, so our office will confirm your policy benefits and determine your expenses. For patients who aren't covered or don't have dental insurance, our office offers several payment options and financing plans.
We are committed to providing quality, affordable care for you and your family. We offer a variety of payment options and accept most insurance plans. We also accept government assistance programs. Please visit our financing page for to find the best option for your situation.
Remember, fluoride alone will not prevent tooth decay! It is important to brush at least twice a day, floss regularly, eat balanced meals, reduce sugary snacks, and visit your dentist on a regular basis. As your Reading Dental Associates experts and staff if you have any additional questions.
Our dentists can give you an effective fluoride dental treatment to help strengthen the outer layer of your teeth and fight cavities. Fluoride applications after teeth cleanings typically make dental work last longer and can help to prevent tooth decay.