At Sunshine Family Dental, we understand the importance of protecting your teeth and overall oral health. That’s why we offer fluoride treatments, which are an important part of preventive dental care, especially for young children and teens whose permanent teeth are still developing.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in food and water, and it helps protect teeth from acid erosion and tooth decay. When acids, such as those caused by sugars and plaque from bacteria, attack the enamel of teeth, it causes demineralization. When foods and water that contain fluoride, calcium, and phosphate are ingested, remineralization occurs to restore the enamel of your teeth. Fluoride treatments can help prevent tooth decay from occuring by helping weak enamel gain resistance to acids and speed up the remineralization process.
Who Can Benefit from Fluoride Treatment?
Fluoride treatments can be beneficial to many types of individuals beyond children and teens. Individuals with cavities or gum disease, those who suffer from dry mouth, and those with dental crowns or bridges can all benefit from fluoride treatments.
How is Fluoride Applied?
At Sunshine Family Dental we use fluoride varnish to help strengthen the enamel of your teeth. Fluoride varnish is a sticky protective coating that is painted on the teeth in order to prevent new cavities from developing as well as to prevent existing cavities from progressing. Fluoride varnish treatments are applied with a soft brush and make the tooth more resistant to decay-causing plaque and sugars. Over the course of several months, the varnish releases fluoride, which strengthens the enamel of your teeth.
The Benefits of Using Fluoride
There are a number of great benefits associated with fluoride treatments for patients. This procedure is quick and inexpensive, and does not cause any discomfort. When fluoride concentrations are high, tooth enamel is strengthened and decay can even be reversed, saving time and money on future dental treatment. In general, fluoride treatments offer the following benefits:
- Protects teeth from decay
- Is capable of reversing small cavities
- Strengthens weak enamel on teeth
- Saves time & money on restorative care
- Provides long-lasting protection between dental visits
Is Fluoride Safe to Use?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can be found in soil and water. Fluoride is also added to water supplies by many cities to assist residents in maintaining good oral health. Fluoride is perfectly safe in small amounts.
How long do I have to wait to brush my teeth after getting a fluoride treatment?
As a general rule, the longer you can wait to brush your teeth after a fluoride application, the better. If possible, patients should wait 4-6 hours before brushing their teeth after their appointments.
In addition to receiving fluoride treatment at our dental office, it can be applied to the teeth through fluoridated toothpaste and mouth rinses. Mouth rinses containing fluoride in lower strengths are available over-the-counter. However, stronger mouth rinses can be prescribed as needed. Dr. Narasimhan will advise you about your child’s fluoride needs.