What Are Fluoride Treatments?
Fluoride treatments include applying fluoride to your teeth to strengthen the enamel, which is the hard outer layer of your teeth. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can be found in water, food, and soil. It’s also added to toothpaste, mouthwash, and drinking water to help prevent tooth decay and better oral health.
Fortunately, professional fluoride treatments usually take just a few minutes to apply during your routine dental cleanings, and you can resume normal activities immediately afterward.
The Benefits of Fluoride Treatments
There are several benefits to fluoride treatments, including:
- Prevents Tooth Decay: Fluoride treatments can help prevent tooth decay by strengthening the tooth enamel and making it more resistant to acid attacks from bacteria in the mouth.
- Reduces Sensitivity: A fluoride treatment can also reduce tooth sensitivity by strengthening the enamel and blocking exposed dentin tubules.
- Helps Remineralize Teeth: Fluoride treatments can also remineralize teeth that have been damaged by acid attacks, which can help reverse the early stages of tooth decay.
When Is Fluoride Treatment Necessary?
Our Staten Island dentists usually recommend additional fluoride and treatments for individuals who are at a higher risk of developing tooth decay, including:
- Children and teenagers: They’re more prone to dental cavities because their teeth are still developing and aren’t as strong as adult teeth.
- Individuals with dry mouth: Dry mouth can increase the risk of tooth decay because saliva helps neutralize the acid in the mouth.
- Individuals with a history of cavities: Individuals who have had cavities in the past are more likely to develop them in the future.
- Individuals with braces or other orthodontic appliances: Braces and other orthodontic appliances can make it more difficult to clean teeth properly, increasing the risk of tooth decay.
After your treatment, our dentist may recommend using fluoride toothpaste or increasing your fluoride intake depending on the condition of your dental health.
How the Fluoride Treatment Process Works
The fluoride treatment process is simple and painless. Before a professional fluoride treatment, your dentist will perform a dental cleaning to remove any plaque or tartar buildup. From there, your dentist will apply a fluoride gel, foam, or varnish to your teeth using a brush, swab, or tray.
Your dentist will recommend keeping the fluoride in your mouth for a few minutes to allow it to absorb into your teeth. After a few minutes have passed, you can rinse your mouth to remove any excess fluoride.
Caring for Your Teeth After a Fluoride Treatment
After your fluoride treatment, follow these tips to ensure the best results:
- Avoid eating or drinking anything for at least 30 minutes after.
- Don’t brush your teeth or rinse your mouth for at least four to six hours after the treatment.
- Avoid consuming foods or drinks that are high in sugar or acid.
- Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss daily to remove any food particles or plaque that may have accumulated in between your teeth.
- Maintain a pristine dental hygiene routine each day
Frequently Asked Questions
Is fluoride treatment safe for children?
Yes, fluoride treatment is safe for children. It’s often recommended for children and teenagers because their teeth are still developing and are more prone to tooth decay. It’s also a natural mineral that’s typically found in mouth rinses, toothpaste, and drinking water.
How long does a fluoride treatment last?
Professionally applied fluoride varnishes can help protect the teeth for several months. It’s often most effective when done every three to six months. Fluoride is excellent for fighting tooth decay and protecting against other oral health issues.
How much do fluoride treatments cost?
Fluoride treatments are relatively inexpensive, ranging between $20 to $50. However, they’re generally regarded as preventive dental treatments, so insurance may cover the costs. There are also topical fluoride products available, such as fluoridated toothpaste or a fluoride rinse, at the store that range from $5 to $20.
Can you have too much fluoride?
Yes, having too much fluoride can cause a condition called dental fluorosis. Dental fluorosis can cause white spots or brown stains on the teeth. However, fluoride treatment is safe for your oral health when used in the recommended amounts and is excellent for preventing tooth decay.
Other risks of too much fluoride include:
- Skeletal fluorosis: Occurs when high levels of fluoride are ingested over a long period, leading to bone and joint pain, stiffness, and immobility.
- Allergic reactions: Some people may be allergic to fluoride, causing hives, rashes, or swelling.
- Gastrointestinal problems: Ingesting large amounts of fluoride in any form may cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Remember, these risks are only prominent if you’re ingesting too much fluoride. Using fluoride toothpaste or undergoing professionally applied fluoride varnish treatments won’t put you at risk for the side effects mentioned above.
Can fluoride treatment be done at home?
Professional fluoride treatments are usually done in a dental office. However, there are some over-the-counter products, such as fluoride mouthwash and fluoridated toothpaste, that can help strengthen tooth enamel.
How often should I get fluoride treatment?
Typically, you’ll receive a fluoride treatment at your routine dental appointments. However, the frequency depends on your individual needs and if you have risk factors for cavities or gum disease. Your dentist will recommend how often you should get fluoride treatments.
Prevent Cavities With Flouride Treatments
Fluoride treatment is a simple and effective way to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay. It’s safe for children and adults and can benefit those at a higher risk of developing tooth decay. If you’re interested in fluoride treatment, talk to a dental professional about whether it’s the right treatment.
If you live in Staten Island, contact our dentists today to schedule your dental cleaning appointment. We’re gladly welcoming new patients to our Staten Island dental office.
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“I have been going here for years. The dentists are absolutely excellent and they always have an appointment available that fits into a busy schedule. I also completed invisilgn and my teeth are perfectly straight now. They also practice preventive medicine and just went in for my 6 month cleaning. Every time feel like I have a new set of choppers and best yet the check up noted no cavities!.”
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