Fluoride Treatment in Vancouver, BC
Fluoride is a mineral which occurs naturally in soil, food and water. Many municipalities supplement their water supply with additional fluoride. Fluoride is an effective tool for the prevention of cavities and maintenance of oral health. Systemic fluoride is especially helpful for children, as it will strengthen the teeth that have not yet erupted. Providing children with the right amount of both systemic and topical fluoride during the first seven years of their lives can help ensure that their adult teeth come in healthy and strong.
Our Vancouver dental clinic offers topical fluoride treatments. Topical fluoride strengthens the teeth once they have erupted by seeping into the outer surface of the tooth enamel, making the teeth more resistant to decay. Dentists and dental hygienists generally recommend that children have a professional application of fluoride twice a year during dental check-ups. Topical fluoride is also an ingredient in most toothpastes and mouthwashes. In addition, dentists can provide a prescription for a toothpaste or mouthwash that contains higher amounts of fluoride if a patient is prone to developing cavities.
While fluoride is very safe and effective at preventing cavities, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. If a patient receives too much fluoride as a child, a condition known as fluorosis can develop. Dental fluorosis looks like little white lines or specks on the teeth where hypermineralization has occurred. This is extremely common and generally benign. Cosmetic treatments are available to minimize the appearance of fluorosis. While some people have voiced concerns about fluoride in recent years, there is generally no risk in ingesting fluoridated water in combination with topical treatments and fluoride based dental hygiene products. The amount of fluoride needed to cause a serious health issue far exceeds the amount that the average person gets from all of these sources.
Of course, fluoride alone will not completely prevent cavities. Maintaining good oral hygiene and regular dental visits are still necessary components of a healthy oral care regimen. Combined with these preventive measure, fluoride helps patients avoid serious and costly dental problems and can help maintain a healthy, confident, beautiful smile.