The Benefits of Fluoride
Fluoride is a naturally-occurring substance which has important uses in dentistry, such as preventing tooth decay and treating tooth sensitivity. Fluoride is commonly found in most toothpastes and some mouthwashes on the market today. Fluoride is available in prescription-strength forms for application in the dental office, over-the-counter products for use at home, and is found in most public/municipal drinking water systems in the United States.
Fluoride is usually given topical through toothpaste, mouthwash and dental office applications. Most toothpastes and mouthwashes contain minimal amounts of topical fluoride. Dental office applications are significantly stronger and contain much more fluoride, designed to last longer.
Most dental offices may use a fluoride rinse, gel, foam, or varnish. At Atrium Dental we mainly use fluoride varnish, which is about twenty two times more Fluoride than your toothpaste. We also dispense prescription fluoride cream, which is about 5 times the amount of fluoride of your toothpaste. Studies have shown that the varnish has much more fluoride uptake than any other professional delivery method.
Why is Fluoride good for our teeth?
Benefits of Fluoride
1. Promotes remineralization of the teeth. Tooth decay is basically the result of acids caused by bacteria, breaking down the hard enamel on a tooth. This process is called demineralization. With the presence of fluoride in a person’s saliva, the fluoride will attract other minerals such as calcium, which in turn, helps speed up the process of remineralization, (building back-up the tooth structure that was damaged due to decay).
2. Resistance to decay. When the teeth begin to remineralize, basically repair themselves from the damage caused by tooth decay, the teeth are actually stronger than they were before. The compound that is formed during the remineralization process is much harder and more resistant to the acids that cause tooth decay.
3. Fluoride slows down the formation of acids that cause tooth decay. Bacteria is a living organism, just like we are. When we eat and drink, we produce waste. So does bacteria. The waste that bacteria produces from eating sugars and starches, is an acid which eats away at the hard enamel on our teeth causing tooth decay. The presence of fluoride interferes with the bacteria’s ability to process sugars and starches. As a result, less acid is produced.
How Much Does a Fluoride Treatment Cost? Does Insurance Cover the Cost?
Check with your dental plan to see if fluoride treatment is a covered procedure. At Atrium Dental, your out of pocket cost will be $10 if your plan does not cover it. Thus, fluoride varnish is a very cost effective preventative measure that will pay for itself with fewer cavities.
Fluoride Varnish is highly recommended for patients taking medications that cause dry mouth or have a disease that causes dry mouth. Without saliva to neutralize the acids in your mouth and wash away food particles, you’re more susceptible to tooth decay. If your gums have receded or pulled away from the teeth. This gives bacteria more room to roam and hastens tooth decay. If you wear Braces. Braces and other orthodontic appliances trap a lot of bacteria that can lead to cavities. If you’ve had radiation therapy to the neck or head. Radiation damages the salivary glands, causing dry mouth.