Posted on 12/30/2019 by Amir Sanjabi, DDS
There has been controversy in past decades regarding the safety of fluoride in tap water and oral care products, as well as professional fluoride treatments as a preventive measure against cavities and advanced tooth decay.
However, using fluoride topically, whether at home or in your dentist’s office, strengthens tooth enamel and helps prevent cavities. This natural mineral is especially important for those whose oral health is compromised in some way or are otherwise at a higher risk of tooth decay, such as young children.
Are Professional Fluoride Treatments Safe?
As long as the water you drink and use for cooking doesn’t have a dangerously high level of fluoride (over 0.7 ppm) or you have an allergic condition that would be exacerbated by fluoride treatments, there is typically no need for concern about the safety of them. However, there are important considerations when deciding if fluoride treatments are right for you.
If you are on a salt-free or low-salt diet, discuss this with your dental care providers to determine if you need to avoid fluoride treatments for any length of time. If you have gum disease, some types of topical fluoride may irritate your gums more than others. It’s important to align all oral care providers with the type and severity of your gum disease in relation to fluoride treatments.
Seek medical attention immediately if you experience hives or swelling in the throat, lips, or tongue. As with any medical treatment, talk to all dental care providers if you are pregnant, although you can typically continue all dental care as usual while pregnant or breastfeeding.
The use of fluoride treatments has been instrumental in the prevention of cavities and tooth decay for decades, especially in children; and there is no cause for concern unless we recommend avoiding them for any of the above reasons. Contact our office to learn more about how fluoride treatments can protect your oral health.