Tooth enamel is known to be exceptionally hard. In fact, it holds the title of being the hardest substance in the body. With this knowledge, you might think that there is nothing that can penetrate or damage it. So why is a dental hygienist always asking if you want fluoride treatment during your six-month checkup? Unfortunately, as durable as tooth enamel can be, it can still develop cavities and even succumb to breaks, cracks, and small fractures. Read on to learn more about this preventive treatment and how it can benefit your smile in the long run.
What is Fluoride?
As a natural mineral commonly found in soil, foods, and water, fluoride has been a go-to solution for dentists for decades. Designed to strengthen tooth enamel and lower the risk of tooth decay, it is added to toothpaste and much of the U.S. water supply.
How Can It Benefit Teeth?
When it comes to oral health, fluoride treatment is one of the most beneficial preventive services available. Children and adults can maintain healthier smiles when choosing to not only undergo additional treatment during a checkup but also practice good oral hygiene habits at home, drink tap water, and eat various fruits and vegetables.
The process of receiving fluoride treatment requires little time, as it is applied to the surfaces of teeth and seeps into the enamel. This creates a barrier of protection against cavities and works to rebuild weak enamel while also slowing mineral loss.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), fluoride was added to its Model List of Essential Medicines in 2021. Professor and dentist Dr. Carlos Gonzalez-Cabezas of the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and member of the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs’ Seal Subcommittee admits that adding this mineral to the WHO’s Model List of Essential Medicines is great news for dentists and patients worldwide.
“In the U.S., the ADA has been a strong supporter of fluoride toothpaste for many decades as it is one of the best evidence-based caries prevention strategies available to the general public. In fact, many would argue this is the most important reason for the decline in caries prevalence in most developed countries, including the U.S., in the last 50 years,” he said.
How Can Fluoride Be Used in the Long-Term?
There are many ways you can continue to use fluoride to protect your teeth in the long run. Apart from visiting your dentist every six months and agreeing to fluoride treatment when asked, you can also:
- Brush daily with fluoridated toothpaste
- Use dental floss that contains fluoride
- Take fluoride supplements if you live in an area without fluoridated water
- Use mouthwashes that contain fluoride
- Drink plenty of tap water (if it contains fluoride)
- Consume water-concentrated foods and beverages
In doing this, you’ll not only better protect your teeth, but you’ll also find that you may end up saving money on dental treatment because your smile remains damaged and decay-free.
About the McCarl Dental Group
The four dental professionals at The McCarl Dental Group are skilled in providing patients with the most exceptional dental services. Even when performing preventive care, they are committed to keeping teeth protected against cavities and damage, and one of the best solutions provided is fluoride treatment. If you want to give your teeth an added boost to fight against tooth decay, call our dental office today to learn how we can help.