Although Canada is among the world leaders in respect to the overall oral health of its citizens based on a wide range of metrics, teeth sensitivity is still fairly common in the country. If you are suffering from sensitive teeth, consider getting dental fluoride therapy.
Dental fluoride therapy works by improving your enamel, the outer coating of your teeth. The therapy involves the use of fluoride to prevent tooth decay and is particularly recommended for children over 6 months old who have chronic tooth decay. Fluoride has been used to prevent tooth decay since the 1940s and the World Health Organization lists it (as sodium fluoride) in its List of Essential Medicines. Candidates for fluoride therapy are:
- Young children who do not have enough fluoride from their local tap water supply. The therapy helps strengthen their teeth.
- Children with adult teeth to maintain the adult teeth that need strengthening.
- People with sensitive teeth, particularly those who have had their teeth whitened. The therapy reduces the adverse effect of the whitening on the enamel and helps heal the sensitivity.
- People with chronic tooth decay resulting from frequent plaque action on the teeth. The therapy helps to reduce the adverse effect of plaque and reduces the risk of tooth decay.
What Are The Benefits Of Fluoride Therapy?
The enamel in your teeth contains hydroxyl enamel. Upon the application of the Fluoride therapy, the weaker hydroxyl molecules on the teeth are strengthened, making the enamel stronger and less susceptible to breakage and decay.
Fluoride therapy primarily combats the formation of tooth decay in 3 ways:
- Fluoride therapy promotes your teeth’s remineralization by enhancing the remineralization process. By having fluoride in your saliva, the element will be absorbed into the surface of a tooth where there has been demineralization. This fluoride, in turn, attracts other minerals like calcium that are crucial for the formation of strong teeth.
- Fluoride therapy also works by making the tooth more resistant to decay. The harder mineral compound that results from the remineralization process that is aided by fluoride (Fluorapatite) actually has greater resistance to demineralization (dissolution by acids) compared to hydroxyapatite and carbonated hydroxyapatite which are the primary components of the tooth.
- Finally, fluoride therapy can inhibit the ability of oral bacteria to create acid. The mineral does this by reducing the rate at which the bacteria in the dental plaque produces acid by reducing the bacteria’s ability to metabolize sugars. Acid is a waste of the sugar bacteria consume.
Fluoride Therapy Delivery – Topical Vs. Systemic
Topical delivery: Topical delivery involves the application of dental fluoride through gels/foams, toothpaste/dentifrices, varnishes, and mouth rinses. Gels and foams are ideal for patients who have a high susceptibility to caries, patients undergoing head & neck radiation, orthodontic patients, patients with low salivary flow, and kids whose permanent molars should be sealed, but cannot for one reason or the other. Fluoride gels are foams that are applied through mouth trays which contain the products. The trays are held in the mouth by biting and the application takes about 4 minutes, with a 30 minutes restriction on eating, rinsing, smoking, or drinking after application. Varnish fluoride therapy is easier to apply compared to gels, smaller quantities of fluoride are needed, and it has a non-offensive taste. The application is done using a brush and the fluoride sets within seconds. Mouth rinses, mostly comprising sodium fluoride, are over-the-counter solutions that usually contain 0.05% sodium fluoride (225 ppm fluoride). The rinses are for daily use, but this concentration is too low for patients with a high risk of caries.
Systemic delivery: Systemic delivery involves the use of fluoride supplementation. This could be through the ingestion of tablets, lozenges, and liquids like fluoride-vitamin preparations. Systemic delivery is rarely used if the public water supplies are already fluoridated. These supplements prevent cavities in permanent teeth.
At Smiles on Queen Dentistry, we assist clients in Bolton and beyond to get the perfect smile and good oral health. We offer different fluoride therapy solutions as well as other services ranging from dental bridges to dental implants and orthodontics to porcelain veneers, and everything in between.
If you or your loved one has a moderate-to-high risk of developing caries, our dental fluoride treatment can help since the fluorine is in much stronger concentration compared to what you find in toothpaste or fluoride mouth rinses that you get in a store or at a pharmacy. Our therapies usually take a few minutes and our rates are competitive.