Everything You Should Know About Fluoride Treatments
Dental Health and Fluoride treatment
Fluoride is all the buzz in the dental world. Fluoride is a natural mineral that is safe and offers many oral benefits, including reducing the risk of dental cavities. It has been found to stop, and in some cases even reverse the tooth decay process. It does so by remineralizing the tooth’s dental enamel. The American Dental Association (ADA) highlights the importance of adding fluoride to your oral care routine to help strengthen your dental enamel. This goes for both kids and adults. It is common to hear about the importance of fluoride for kids while their teeth are developing, but fluoride can benefit individuals of all ages! For instance, fluoride protection can be particularly beneficial for adults as many experience gum recession, dry mouth from prescription medications, and greater restorative work which all increase susceptibility to tooth decay. Fluoride can be found in tap water in fluoridated communities, certain foods, dietary supplements, toothpastes, and other over-the-counter dental products. In addition, professional fluoride treatments provided by your dental professional are recommended by the ADA at a time interval determined by your dentist depending on your cavity risk.
What to expect during a professional dental fluoride treatment?
Professional fluoride treatments are relatively quick and easy. Your dental professional will apply fluoride directly to the surfaces of your teeth. The fluoride may be painted on using a varnish, or foams or gels may be placed into a mouth guard that fits onto your teeth. The procedure typically takes only take a few minutes.
What are the benefits of fluoride treatments?
As mentioned, fluoride treatments help remineralize your teeth following the demineralization process that occurs due to oral bacteria in dental plaque. When sugary foods and beverages are consumed, bacteria feed on the sugars and in turn produce acids that harm your teeth by taking the healthy minerals out of them. Fluoride helps replace minerals that help strengthen dental enamel, including calcium and phosphate ions. In addition, it also helps block the growth of these harmful oral bacteria. Early signs of tooth decay such as white spot lesions can be reversed with the help of fluoride.
Fluoride treatments are particularly helpful for individuals who are at a higher risk for developing tooth decay. This includes individuals with dry mouth, high-carbohydrate diets, weak enamel, poor oral health, multiple dental restorations, and eating disorders.
How much does fluoride treatment cost?
Fluoride treatments typically range from $20-$50 and are often applied after a cleaning appointment. Some dental insurances may also cover the cost of fluoride treatments.
Fluoride treatment aftercare
After a professional dental Fluoride treatment, your dental professionals will give you some instructions regarding aftercare. It is normal to feel a sticky coating and see discoloration once fluoride varnish is applied, which will disappear after a day or so. You may be instructed to avoid hot foods and beverages, as well as products containing alcohol. In addition, sticky and hard foods should be avoided for the rest of the day. Typically, you will be informed not to brush or floss for at least 4-6 hours after treatment to allow your teeth to absorb the fluoride.
Our doctors and dental specialists provide a wide range of dental services at our 40+ multi-specialty dental offices across Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Our dental team is compassionate, and our main goal is to provide you a comfortable, caring dental experience. Book an appointment at your local Gentle Dental today.