We hear the word “fluoride” a lot. It’s in the municipal water supply. It’s in our toothpaste. Teenagers get fluoride treatments and if you have dental insurance, it’s one of those preventative treatments that are usually covered up to a certain age.
But did you know that fluoride could actually help aging teeth? It’s a supplement that can actually strengthen teeth. This article will look at fluoride treatments and whether they might be right for you or your family members.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral in food and water. It has also been added in very small increments to municipal water supplies in the United States.
Fluoride is also a supplement that can be applied to the teeth in toothpaste or mouth rinses. Dentists can also professionally apply fluoride treatments.
The teeth can lose minerals every day from plaque, sugar, and bacteria in the mouth. Demineralization can be reversed, though, when teeth receive fluoride.
Fluoride helps reverse tooth decay and when given early enough as a supplement, can help provide life-long protection against tooth decay.
Fluoride Treatments for Kids
Fluoride intake is most important for children between six months and 16 years. That’s when the permanent teeth are coming in and fluoride can strengthen developing teeth.
WebMD has this to say about fluoride and kids:
In children under six years old, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also helps speed remineralization as well as disrupts acid production in already erupted teeth of both children and adults.
But what about fluoride treatment for adults? The research says that fluoride is just as important to the adult teeth as to the newer teeth of children.
Fluoride Treatment for Adults
As adults age, their teeth age right along with them. Adults can experience tooth erosion, including areas where the enamel is wearing away. Crowns can have leaky margins and the teeth generally can start to weaken. Fluoride is one way to strengthen the elderly tooth, making them stronger, less sensitive to cold and hot, and less resistant to decay. Too, fluoride can even lessen root decay, which is something that can begin to happen to people that are over the age of 50.
As adults age they can also suffer from dry mouth, a condition that can contribute to tooth decay. Gum disease can cause the gums to recede, exposing the roots to bacteria. Fluoride can help in all of these cases. We often recommend fluoride as a way to shore up aging teeth and help prolong the life of adult teeth.
But is Fluoride Safe?
When given in the recommended dosage, fluoride is both safe and effective. However, it can be hazardous in high doses. That’s why it’s important to talk with your dentist about using fluoride products for you and your children. However, it is very hard to “overdose” on fluoride. This mineral is both beneficial to people and natural.
To talk with your Las Vegas dentist about the benefits of fluoride, contact us.