What are fluoride treatments? How safe are they?

You must have heard about fluoride treatments for strengthening your teeth. However, there must be still some doubts regarding the treatment. Along with positive effects, the intake of fluoride has negative effects too. But such cases are rare and can only happen with the unsupervised intake of fluoride. This blog will tell you how safe is fluoride treatment and when you are supposed to take them.

What is Fluoride Treatment?

Fluorides are a naturally occurring mineral found in the soil, food and water. It is a mineral that is present in the outer layer of the teeth called enamel. Along with other minerals it gets deposited and eroded from the teeth’s surface through the process of mineralization and demineralization.

However, the process of demineralization happens faster than the process of remineralization. This leaves your teeth prone to decay. Fluoride treatment helps to prevent tooth decay by providing making your teeth more resistant to the sugary food, acids and bacteria (plaque). It helps in speed remineralization and reduces acid production in the teeth.

Who Needs fluoride treatment?

Typically, children within the age of 6 years old get fluoride treatment as a step in the development of permanent teeth. This treatment is done two to four times a year. It is best that the children get the treatment at the dental office by the trained professionals as the amount of fluoride is crucial.

Even adults get fluoride treatment. Fluoride treatment for adults is beneficial in certain conditions such as:

  • Dry mouth conditions
  • Recently gone through tooth filling
  • Having a family history of tooth decay
  • Periodontal disease
  • Crowned teeth, bridges or braces.
  • Those who are receiving radiation therapy in their head or neck.

However, treatment in such cases should be devised by the dentist

Is Fluoride Treatment Safe?

Fluoride treatment is completely safe for adults as well as kids. In these treatments, only a small amount of fluoride is used. The fluoride usually hardens once it comes in contact with the saliva. Hence, the possibility of one swallowing fluoride does not happen. The fluoride is then brushed off after 4 or 12 hours.

However, If the fluoride intake is without the supervision of a dental expert then it could be hazardous. The toxicity of fluoride depends upon the individual weights. Therefore, whenever you’ll approach a fluoride treatment dentist in Houston, TX, he/she will first ask about your weight or take themselves and then prescribe the fluoride to you.

There are many side effects to fluoride when taken in excess. Some of them are:

  • Dental Fluorosis

Exposure to high dosages of fluoride during childhood can cause a mild case of dental fluorosis. In this, the enamel of the tooth develops tiny white streaks on the surface.

Dental Fluorosis does not affect the health of the teeth, but only affects the aesthetics by causing noticeable discoloration.

Best way to prevent is to mix baby formulas in fluoride-free water. The children below the age of 6 should only use products prescribed by the doctor and should be supervised while brushing the teeth to ensure that they do not swallow the toothpaste.

  • Skeletal Fluorosis

Excess exposure to fluoride can lead to a bone disease called Skeletal Fluorosis. This disease can damage the bones and joints over the years. In this, the bones become hard and less elastic which increases the risk of fractures. In case the bone tissue thickens around the joint, it can cause impaired joint mobility.

  • Thyroid problems

Excess fluoride can also damage the parathyroid gland. This causes hyperparathyroidism, which involves uncontrolled secretion of parathyroid hormones.

Because of this the calcium concentration in the bone decreases and the calcium concentration in the blood increases.

  • Neurological problems

If the unborn infant is exposed to fluoride it can lead to impaired cognitive ability.

  • Other problems

Other problems include skin problems and acne and fluoride poisoning.

Fluoride Treatment is necessary for the development of strong teeth and is also prevents various oral problems. However, excess intake can bring out hazardous results. Therefore, make sure you get treatment from a well-reputed dental clinic in Houston. Shiny Smile Dental Care are experts at providing a fluoride treatment. They make sure that you and your family get the best treatment in a warm and friendly environment.

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