Dental Tips Blog

Dec
18

Home Fluoride Use

Fluoride plays a key role in tooth strength, sensitivity reduction and deterring tooth decay. When used at home as part of your daily oral hygiene routine, fluoride treatment can be extremely beneficial, especially for people who are at an increased risk for dental problems. Dry mouth can compound these problems.

People who benefit from additional home fluoride use include those with conditions like:

  • Undergoing orthodontic treatment
  • History of rampant tooth decay
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Undergoing cancer treatment such as radiation therapy
  • Exposed root surfaces
  • Dry mouth
  • Tooth sensitivity

By using fluoride, the tooth enamel can remineralize areas that are weak or beginning to shown possible signs of decay. This can prevent, reverse or delay tooth decay altogether. Fluoride also helps treat tooth sensitivity and may be a useful part of whitening routines.

Home fluoride treatment can be delivered by:

  • Prescription fluoride gel
  • Fluoride rinses found over the counter

Home fluoride gels are usually brushed on in the evening before bedtime, after typical oral hygiene routines. You may expectorate, but do not rinse the gel from the teeth. This allows it to have an extended period of time in the mouth while you sleep – a time where our saliva glands shut down and the mouth is much drier than normal. As an alternative to a prescription gel, over the counter rinses that contain fluoride are also safe to use. You should note that many popular mouth rinses do not contain fluoride and are typically formulated for gingivitis or bad breath. Be sure to choose one that specifically displays fluoride content on the front label.

 

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