What is a Fluoride Treatment?

Fluoride is the most effective agent available to help prevent tooth decay.

It’s a mineral naturally present in varying amounts in almost all foods and water supplies. It not only helps prevent tooth decay, it can repair teeth in the very early, microscopic stages of the disease.

Although most people receive fluoride from food and water, sometimes it’s not enough to help prevent decay.

Topical fluorides are applied directly to the tooth enamel.
They strengthen the teeth by seeping into the surface of the enamel, making the teeth more resistant to decay. We generally recommend that children have a professional application of fluoride twice a year during check-ups.
Systemic fluorides are swallowed.
Examples include fluoridated water and dietary fluoride supplements. Generally, fluoride drops are recommended for infants, and tablets are best suited for children up through the teen years.

IMPORTANT: Monitor the amounts of fluoride that children ingest. If too much fluoride is consumed while the teeth are developing, a condition called fluorosis (white spots on the teeth) may result.

7 Reasons for a Fluoride Treatment

Deep pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces of your teeth

Exposed and sensitive root surfaces

Fair to poor oral hygiene habits

Frequent sugar and carbohydrate intake

Inadequate exposure to fluorides

Inadequate saliva flow due to medical conditions, medical treatments, or medications

Recent history of dental decay

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What does it involve?

The fluoride preparation we use in our office is a much stronger concentration than what you find in products at the store. The treatment generally takes just a few minutes.

Your Visit

The fluoride may be in the form of a solution, gel, foam, or varnish. Typically, it’s applied with a cotton swab or brush, used as a rinse, or placed in a tray that’s held in your mouth for several minutes.

After the treatment, you may be asked not to rinse, eat, or drink for at least 30 minutes to allow your teeth to absorb the fluoride and help repair microscopic carious areas.

Possible Recommendations

Depending on your oral health status, we may recommend fluoride treatments every three, six or 12 months.

If you’re at moderate or high risk of developing tooth decay, we may recommend additional preventive measures which may include over-the-counter or prescription therapeutic products.

A Gentle Reminder

Fluoride alone will not prevent tooth decay. It’s important to brush at least twice a day, floss regularly, eat balanced meals, reduce sugary snacks, and visit us on a regular basis.