While regular intake of fluoride through tap water, toothpaste and mouthwash is effective for many of us, there are times where fluoride application treatment is required to help strengthen teeth and address particular dental health concerns. WiSE Dental specialise in fluoride application in Macquarie Park, and patients can rely on us for effective, long lasting improvement of oral health.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in salt and freshwater along with rocks, soil, grains and vegetables. The amount of fluoride naturally present in water ranges from 0.01 to 0.3 mg per litre in freshwater to 1.2 to 1.5 mg per litre in seawater. Areas with a lot of volcanic or geothermal activity can have extremely high concentrations of up to 50 mg per litre.
What is Fluoride Application?
A dental professional may apply a fluoride gel or foam if you are at risk of tooth decay. This treatment is generally not used under 10 years of age. Fluoride protection varnish is another treatment that may be applied to protect tooth surfaces. This can be used for adults and children of all ages. In other cases, we may recommend fluoride mouthwash to use at home, advising when and how to use it depending on your circumstances.
How Does Fluoride Toothpaste Work & How Effective is Treatment?
Most people are familiar with fluoride toothpaste and use it daily, but how does it actually help?
Your tooth enamel is made up of calcium and phosphate. Certain bacteria found in your mouth feed on sugars, breaking down food particles to create acids that strip away these minerals from your tooth enamel and cause it to weaken. This process is called demineralisation.
As you brush your teeth, the fluoride in your toothpaste teams up with the calcium and phosphate to form a compound called fluorapatite, creating an acid-resistant compound that covers demineralised enamel and restores its strength while also preventing further damage from acids.
Combined with good oral hygiene habits like brushing twice a day, flossing regularly and regular visits to the dentist, fluoride makes looking after your oral health easier than ever.
Will Fluoride Protection Varnish Stain My Teeth?
Fluoride varnish may give your teeth a temporary orange discolouration, but this will soon disappear. Following treatment, avoid hot foods and eat a soft diet for the rest of the day. Where possible, avoid eating for four hours after application
Do not brush the treated area until the following day, and do not use any other high concentration fluoride gels or rinses for several days. Keep up with regular tooth brushing morning and night the day after.
What’s the History of Fluoride in Tap Water?
Research into the dental health benefits of fluoride go back to 1801 in the U.S, where experts found that adding fluoride to water was highly effective at reducing tooth decay. Fluoridation of tap water was implemented by the U.S Public Health Service by 1951. Australia followed soon after in 1956. While fluoride exists in all water supplies, including bottled water, it is rarely at an optimal level.
Fluoridation of tap water focuses on ensuring there is a good balance of fluoride to maximise dental health benefits, with a recommended range between 0.6 to 1.1 mg per litre depending on the climate.
Book a Consultation Today in Macquarie Park
Visit WiSE Dental, the experts in fluoride application that Macquarie Park patients can trust for quality advice and tailored dental health treatments. Note that we don’t advise using fluoride tablets or supplements. If your tap water is not fluoridated, or if you usually drink rainwater, bottled water or filtered water, contact our dental clinic for more advice. Call today on 02 9119 7963 or contact us online.
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