You’ve probably heard of fluoride treatment for your teeth, but you may wonder if fluoride treatment is beneficial for you and your family. You’ll be glad to know that our dentist in Grove City is always glad to share information about the benefits of fluoride treatment. We can also help you decide if fluoride treatment is right for you and your family.
Fluoride is a natural mineral found in soil and water. Many communities add low levels of fluoride to their drinking water, but dentists often recommend getting the additional benefits that only fluoride treatments can provide.
There are three main types of fluoride treatment:
While many communities add fluoride to their drinking water, both adults and children can benefit from fluoride treatments as fluoride added to drinking water may not provide the full benefits.
There are several benefits of fluoride treatment for adults and for children. Some of the benefits, such as stronger teeth, are direct. Other benefits, such as helping a child speak clearly, may not be so direct. Many of these benefits of fluoride treatments last for several years.
Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. In fact, tooth enamel is as strong or stronger than steel. This strength is important to your health, in that it allows you to grind up the food you eat without fracturing or otherwise damaging your teeth.
Your tooth enamel gets its strength from minerals. Calcium and phosphorus are the main minerals - they bond together to form crystallites that gives enamel its strength.
Unfortunately, your teeth can lose their protective enamel coating. Acid in food and beverages, such as tomatoes and soda, is the main cause of enamel loss. Sweet or starchy foods present a special risk for destroying tooth enamel. More specifically, acid causes demineralization, which means the acid causes your tooth enamel to lose some of the minerals that make it strong. Abrasion, such as using a hard-bristled toothbrush or scraping your teeth with a toothpick, can also lead to the loss of tooth enamel.
Loss of tooth enamel can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Without treatment, tooth decay and cavities can cause pain and infection - you might even lose the tooth.
Cavities are the most common chronic disease among children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In fact, more than half of all kids aged 6 to 8 have had at least one cavity in a baby tooth. This can have far-reaching consequences, as children with dental problems often miss more school and get lower grades compared with those with good oral health.
Fluoride treatments protect your teeth by making the enamel more resistant to the effects of acid or abrasion. Fluoride treatment slows down demineralization and even promotes remineralization, which means it helps minerals move back into the enamel to protect teeth from tooth decay and cavities… and help children get the most out of their school-age years. In fact, fluoride varnish can prevent about a third of all cavities in baby teeth.
Cavities and tooth loss can have consequences: children or adults with missing teeth may have trouble speaking or eating for example. Because fluoride can protect teeth, treatments can provide indirect benefits of helping a child speak clearly and eat without pain.
Fluoride treatment costs much less than treating cavities. A topical fluoride treatment costs about $30 and a topical fluoride varnish treatment is about $35. A filling can set you back $50 to $250, depending on the material used and your insurance coverage.
Baby teeth, also known as primary teeth, are important - they help a child eat and speak, and give them a cute smile. Primary teeth do so much more, though. They hold each other in place, for example, and they help permanent teeth come in at the right place and at the right time. Baby teeth that come out too soon allow the other primary teeth to drift out of place, and let permanent teeth come up too soon and in the wrong spot.
Because of the way it strengthens enamel and prevents tooth decay and cavities, fluoride treatment helps baby teeth stay healthy and stay in place until it is time for your child’s permanent teeth to come in.
To learn more about the benefits of fluoride treatment or to receive this tooth-saving treatment, contact Grove City Smiles. Our dentist in Grove City offers fluoride treatment for adults and children.