Fluoride Treatment in Oakland, CA
Anyone who lives in Oakland might have heard of at least one person express concern about fluoride, but few people actually know what it is and why it is beneficial for the teeth. At its core, fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is capable of helping heal and regrow the surface layer of enamel that protects the soft pulp inside of the teeth. During the 20th century, dentists started to apply fluoride directly to the teeth to facilitate this process, and the federal government even put a safe amount in tap water to help promote overall population health – similar to how most salt now contains iodine.
What Is a Fluoride Treatment?
When someone comes into Franklin Dental Care for a regular checkup, exam, and cleaning, they can request a fluoride treatment. This process is done after a thorough cleaning of the teeth and gums. Basically, fluoride is applied to the teeth as either a solution, gel, foam, or varnish. It is eventually absorbed, and patients are encouraged not to eat or drink for 30 minutes after the application to fully allow it to set.
Sometimes a dentist will use a liquid form of fluoride that is held in the mouth for several minutes before being spat out. This method is effective as well but is often avoided when treating children because they might have trouble not swallowing.
Are There Any Risks?
When done properly by a dentist, there is no risk to fluoride treatment. Drinking tap water that has been fluoridated is also safe because the amount of the mineral is small and calculated to be harmless to people of all ages.
The one condition young children can develop if exposed to too much fluoride is fluorosis, which causes a slight discoloration of the teeth. To avoid fluorosis, children who have not developed their adult teeth are not given fluoride treatments, and parents are encouraged to avoid using regular adult fluoridated toothpaste to brush their children’s teeth.
What to Do
For more information or to receive a fluoride treatment, consider making an appointment today with Franklin Dental Care at our office in Oakland.