What are Fluoride Treatments?
Fluoride is a mineral used to strengthen tooth enamel. With a clear track record of keeping teeth healthy, it has been used as the active ingredient in toothpaste for well over 100 years.
A fluoride treatment is where your dentist or dental hygienist will apply a concentrated fluoride solution to your teeth, typically right after your teeth are cleaned. A fluoride treatment during your regular appointment is a proven way to help prevent cavities.
What are the Benefits?
The benefits of fluoride treatment include a reduction in tooth decay. These treatments help reduce the risk of cavities by making teeth stronger and more resistant. Fluoride strengthens teeth against cavities with both preventative and restorative care, both inhibiting the growth of harmful oral bacteria and also restoring good mineral content to teeth. Where decay has already occurred to wear away tooth enamel, fluoride helps restore strength to the mouth.
Specific fluoride treatment benefits can vary depending on the length and concentration of treatment, but even if you don’t see or feel demonstrable results, your teeth will be strengthened and protected through receiving fluoride. So getting a treatment for fluoride benefits your current oral health and gives you protection into the future
Are Fluoride Treatments Necessary?
While fluoride treatment may not be necessary, they’re a great way to give your teeth a boost in strength and avoid issues down the road. Schedule a consultation with a dentist to see if they recommend fluoride treatments for your oral health.
Fluoride is a common additive to drinking water in most US cities.The amount of fluoride available naturally varies by location, so there are places where fluoride treatments are more necessary than others. Approximately 62% of the U.S. population served by public water supplies has access to adequate levels of fluoride in their water, and 43 of the 50 largest U.S. cities have water fluoridation systems, according to Web MD. If you’re not getting the fluoride you need, your dentist will be able to help.
Who is a Good Candidate for Fluoride Treatments?
Since fluoride helps reduce the risk of tooth decay, it’s simple: those who are at high risk for tooth decay are the best candidates for fluoride treatments. Of course, only a dentist can determine whether an individual is a good candidate, but there are some general signs.
For instance, those who have a prior history of multiple cavities, insufficient brushing and flossing habits, or who only receive irregular dental care may be more likely to qualify as a good candidate for receiving this type of treatment during their dental checkup. Both children and adults can experience the power of fluoride treatment benefits.
What Happens During a Fluoride Treatment?
A fluoride treatment is a simple, quick procedure that won’t hurt and causes only minor inconveniences. During each treatment, the dentist or dental hygienist typically applies a gel, foam, or varnish to the patient’s teeth using a swab or a brush. Sometimes, treatments occur with trays instead, where the fluoride is placed in the tray which is then held in the mouth for a few minutes. No matter how the treatment is done, the process is chemical in nature, where fluoride positively affects the growth rate and size of enamel crystals for the teeth. This strengthens teeth now and in the future.
The most important step of the treatment occurs after it’s applied. For best results, patients should not eat or drink after their treatment for at least thirty minutes so that their teeth can fully absorb the fluoride.