The enamel that makes up the outermost layer of your teeth is made of tiny mineral crystals. These crystals are constantly lost to the acids in your mouth, especially when you eat carbohydrates. To replenish their supply, your body needs a steady supply of minerals including calcium and fluoride.
Calcium itself is fairly common – especially in an age where so many products are fortified with it. Fluoride, on the other hand, is less bioavailable and less common – which means that many of us are deficient in it. This deficiency can lead to permanent discoloration, chips, and plaque in your teeth.
The 3 Kinds of Fluoride Treatments
The first kind of fluoride treatment is supplemental. Foods, supplements, and beverages reinforced with fluoride are digested and absorbed into the bloodstream. This is an effective method – but it takes a while to work.
Topical fluoride treatments are applied directly to the teeth – usually at home. These work too, but overexposure to the chemical can make you sick and hurt your teeth, which makes this a risky choice for first-timers.
Professional fluoride treatments are topical too, but unlike regular topical solutions, these are applied by a trained dentist using specialist technology.
Supplements are wonderful as a long-term solution to a fluoride deficiency. Topical fluoride treatments are perfect if you need a fluoride application in the near future – but if you’re going the DIY route, make sure you know what you’re doing prior to starting the process.