Fluoride treatment has been an important part of oral health care for decades. Fluoride is an easy and pain-free way for both children and adults to help prevent cavities, and in some cases, help reverse early decay.
Our teeth are in a constant process of demineralization (loss of minerals) or remineralization (gaining minerals), and when these processes do not balance each other out, the demineralization can result in an increased risk of cavities (tooth decay).
Fluoride treatments help speed up the remineralization process for optimal enamel health and lower the risk of cavities.
About fluoride treatment
The fluoride used in a dentist's office is much stronger than the fluoride in toothpaste or mouthwash you buy from the store or pharmacy. Typically, the fluoride treatment from your dentist is applied with a cotton swab or brush, or it is used as a rinse and held in the mouth for several minutes.
Depending on your oral health status and dental plan developed by you and your dentist, fluoride treatment may be recommended every three, six or twelve months. This treatment lowers your risk of cavities, and for decay that is caught early enough, fluoride treatment may be all you need.
After treatment, do not eat or drink for at least 30 minutes to allow the fluoride to be absorbed by the teeth.
Fluoride helps with more than just cavities
Fluoride treatment is also used to treat tooth sensitivity to strengthen the tooth enamel and decrease sensitivity to hot and cold drinks, sweet foods, or brushing and flossing.
Tooth sensitivity is very common. If this is something that affects you, ask your dentist or hygienist about toothpaste made specifically for sensitive teeth in addition to fluoride treatment.
Fluoride treatment can be applied at any dental appointment. Ask your dentist which fluoride plan is right for you!