When You May Need More Fluoride

Dentist Blog

Everyone has fluoride in their drinking water and toothpaste, but there are still some who are not getting enough of this mineral. These people may need more dental fluoride treatments than the normal two per year that they get at their dental exams. Continue reading to find out if you are one of the many people who may need additional fluoride.

Signs That You May Need More Fluoride:

1. You have an extremely dry mouth.

Dry mouth can be caused by certain medical conditions, like Sjögren's sydnrome, or by taking certain medications. The lack of saliva makes it harder for food and bacteria to be washed away, which may increase the likelihood of tooth decay. Extra fluoride can help fight against this decay, and is the main reason that people with dry mouth require more fluoride than the average person.

2. You are prone to cavities.

Some people get more cavities than what is normal, and there are many different factors that may contribute to that. If you get at least one cavity a year, you should talk to your dentist about getting more fluoride. This additional fluoride can greatly reduce the number of cavities you get in the future.

3. You have gum disease.

If you have gum disease, then your teeth are exposed to more bacteria at all times, which can lead to excessive tooth decay. To help prevent this decay, extra fluoride is often recommended.

4. You have braces, crowns, or other dental appliances in your mouth.

Your teeth are more prone to decay if you have any permanent dental appliances inside your mouth. That is because bacteria can get in between your teeth and these objects and get stuck there. With some extra fluoride, this bacteria will have a harder time attacking your teeth and causing decay because fluoride has anti-bacterial properties.

How to Get Extra Fluoride

  • Get additional fluoride treatments from your dentist.
  • Use prescription toothpaste that contains more fluoride than over-the-counter toothpaste. (This toothpaste must be prescribed by a dentist or other medical professional.)
  • Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

The Dangers of Too Much Fluoride

If you are supplementing fluoride, it is important to only do it under the direction of a dentist or other dental professional. It is possible to get too much fluoride, and the risk is even greater for children who do not have their permanent teeth yet. Children under the age of 8 are susceptible to a condition called fluorosis if they get too much fluoride. This condition causes yellowing or staining of the permanent teeth and can also weaken them significantly. Adults who get too much fluoride may have problems with the weakening of bones or ligaments. To avoid these problems, it is best to talk to your dentist at places like Ellsworth & Day DDS about your fluoride intake.


18 February 2015