My friend just started using Fluoride gel as part of her daily dental care. I would like to know more about this product. What will it do for her?
The product we recommend is Oral B Neutra Care, which is a 1.1% sodium fluoride gel for home use. It is prescribed by a dentist. This product makes teeth more resistant to decay and bacteria that cause cavities. It is for patients with risk factors for dental caries such as a history of extensive dental work, including crowns, bridges or composite restorations, having reduced salivary flow and having orthodontic braces or other reasons why regular oral hygiene procedures are difficult.
Fluoride gel is safe to use, however, it is important to know that mouth or gum irritation may infrequently occur. Most people using this product do not have side effects.
How is it used?
It’s simple to use. After flossing and brushing with regular toothpaste, you apply a pea-sized amount of the gel to your toothbrush and brush for one minute, then spit out the gel thoroughly. It is advised not to swallow the gel, eat, drink or rinse for at least 30 minutes after to get the best results.
Why is fluoride so important?
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water. Every day minerals are lost from and added to tooth enamel due to two processes, demineralization and remineralization. Minerals are lost (demineralization), when acids formed from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth attack the enamel and when teeth are exposed to other acids such as is found in acidic foods (citrus fruits, salad dressings and wine, to mention a few) or bodily acids such from gastric reflux or regurgitation. Minerals such as fluoride, calcium and phosphate are redeposited (remineralization), to the enamel. Demineralization eventually leads to tooth decay.
Our municipal water has approximately 0.7 parts per million of fluoride added as one of the greatest dental public health measures ever created, but this is a very low concentration and works mostly by being built into the forming teeth of children. Toothpastes and rinses also have fluoride- a higher concentration, however still quite low. Fluoride can also be applied directly to teeth as a gel or varnish in a dental office visit. These treatments contain much higher levels of fluoride than the amount contained in toothpastes or mouth rinses. We recommend a combination of in-office fluoride varnish application and use of fluoride gel at home for our patients who are at moderate to high risk for decay.
We want to educate our patients about achieving their best dental health in each visit. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about fluoride, your teeth, gums and mouth and create the best treatment plan for you.
Give us a call, 612-781-9270 to set up your next visit!