February 3, 2010

Fluoride Therapy

Fluoride therapy is a form dental care that helps protect your teeth. This type of work calls for more fluoride than is found in toothpaste and mouthwash.

The type that dentists use most often comes in the form of a gel or varnish. These are put on the teeth or held in the mouth like a rinse. This takes only a few minutes. Then, for about a half hour, you can’t eat or drink while the teeth to absorb the fluoride.

The Function and Frequency of Fluoride Therapy

Fluoride therapy fights tooth decay (or “caries.”) Decay is caused when the teeth and gums are exposed to acids from plaque. The fluoride protects your teeth from decay and can help to repair tooth decay if it is caught at an early stage.

The suggested rate of fluoride therapy varies from once to several times a year. It depends on how much you may be at risk for tooth decay. The American Dental Association says the risk factors for tooth decay include poor dental hygiene, eating disorders, an unhealthy diet, and drug or alcohol abuse. If you are dealing with these or related issues, talk to your dentist to learn how often you should get fluoride therapy.

Children and Fluoride

Kids are more sensitive to high levels of fluoride than adults are. Talk with your dentist about how much fluoride is right for your children.

If a child’s teeth start to look brown or speckled, it may be a condition known as dental fluorosis. While this is not dangerous, it does point to an overexposure to fluoride. In this case, fluoride intake should be more carefully monitored and limited.

For more info about fluoride therapy and related topics, talk with your dentist.