When treating dental patients, you might get a lot of questions from patients about fluoride.
It makes sense for something that goes on your teeth to raise some questions. It can be confusing.
But we're here to help answer those questions and give you the confidence to help your patients understand the importance of fluoride treatments.
We've done the research and compiled eight of the most common patient questions about topical fluoride. Take a look!
1. What Is It?
It might shock your patients to learn that fluoride is a natural substance. Help patients understand that fluoride is a mineral that naturally occurs in water and many foods.
Patients should also understand that fluoride is essential to maintaining healthy teeth.
Some patients might balk when you apply a fluoride varnish to their teeth. Letting them know they're already getting this important mineral every day through foods and water might calm some concerns.
2. Why Do I Need It?
Some patients need help understanding why fluoride is essential. Explaining it in a way that a non-dentist can understand is important.
Fluoride is the key mineral helping to prevent tooth decay.
As we mentioned, the human body absorbs fluoride ingested from food and water. But that's not quite enough to protect teeth.
That's where fluoride varnish treatments come in. Applying topical fluoride to the teeth works against the natural process of losing fluoride.
Enamel is the protective layer on a tooth. Demineralization is the process of losing important minerals from your enamel over time. It happens naturally.
Fluoride absorbs into the enamel through remineralization when a dentist applies a topical varnish to teeth.
3. Is It Safe?
You'll hear this question about dental fluoride in a variety of ways. ADDITION: We’ll discuss some of the most commonly asked safety-related questions here.
ADDITION (H3): Can Topical Fluoride Cause Cancer?
Patients fear that fluoride is the cause of health issues - even illnesses as serious as cancer.
But despite these fears, most experts agree that the fluoride levels found in water and food are safe for consumption. Fluoride in our drinking water is regulated. And it has been a part of our water for decades.
As for a link to cancer, the American Cancer Society reports that no strong links exist between cancer and the fluoride in our drinking water.
When applying topical fluoride to the tooth enamel, the levels of fluoride are too small to affect a patient's health.
ADDITION (H3): Is Fluoride Varnish Safe to Swallow?
ADDITION (H3): Can Fluoride Varnish Cause Diarrhea?
ADDITION (H3): Can Fluoride Varnish Cause Fluorosis?
4. Do I Need It as an Adult?
Most patients understand the importance of building strong enamel with fluoride treatments for infants and kids.
ADDITION (H3): Is Fluoride Varnish Covered by Insurance?
Some insurance companies stop paying for fluoride treatments during the teenage years.
Without insurance coverage for fluoride treatment, it's a good question to ask if it's still necessary as an adult.
ADDITION (H3): Does Fluoride Varnish Work for Adults?
It's important for adults to understand that fluoride strengthens the tooth enamel and roots no matter your age.
While fluoride treatment for adults isn't required and might not be a routine part of adult dental cleanings and exams, continued treatments help protect aging teeth.
5. Is Tooth Decay Really Still a Problem?
Since drinking water contains fluoride, some patients assume they are getting enough fluoride without the need for dental treatments.
It's possible to make a case that, in general, teeth are healthier now than decades ago when tooth decay was more common.
Advances in dental techniques and products help keep teeth looking better than ever. But that doesn't mean tooth decay is no longer a problem.
Enamel always needs fluoride to stay strong. Without it, tooth decay happens.
6. Is There Such a Thing as Too Much?
Some patients might feel that if a little fluoride is good, then a lot must be better.
Despite finding fluoride in most kinds of toothpaste and mouthwashes, too much of it can be harmful.
Brushing regularly with fluoride toothpaste is fine in addition to drinking city water. This is all within the acceptable levels of fluoride.
But patients should avoid swallowing toothpaste or looking for additional sources of fluoride to have the best teeth in town.
7. Why Does It Feel Weird?
Fluoride varnish itself leads to questions.
The texture might feel weird to some patients. If they have horror stories and bad memories of gritty substances that came in one horrible mint flavor, they might ask what's happening with newer varnishes.
Dentists and hygienists know that fluoride treatment isn't everyone's favorite part of a visit, despite it being painless.
Today's varnishes and pastes come in more flavors to help patients better deal with the taste.
Kids who never experienced fluoride treatments might enjoy the flavor and the feel of varnish on their teeth.
8. Is It Safe for People with Allergies?
With heightened awareness of food allergies these days, we have to be careful with anything that a patient ingests.
Patients might ask if fluoride is safe for those with nut allergies. Is it gluten-free? Is it natural?
Not all fluoride is alike, but quality pastes and varnishes are safe for everyone.
No gluten, dyes, or nuts. We make all of our products with the highest quality natural ingredients to protect patients with or without sensitivities.
Topical Fluoride Is Safe and Effective
When a patient asks a question about topical fluoride, don't worry. History and studies show that fluoride is safe to consume. It's also the most effective way to prevent tooth decay and cavities.
The Internet is full of myths and free-flowing information about things like fluoride and other dental treatments. But understanding the facts and knowing how to answer questions from patients helps everyone feel safe when using topical fluoride.
If you haven't tried our wonderful pastes and varnishes for your patients, request free samples. You'll find that your patients enjoy the taste and texture over other fluoride treatments.
And because we sell directly to our clients, you'll save money with us when compared to most other fluoride suppliers.