What is a Fluoride Treatment?
Fluoride is an essential mineral for the health of your teeth. If you do not keep good oral hygiene habits, plaque, an acid-producing bacteria, can build up and cause cavities and tooth decay. Fluoride is found in the toothpaste you use to brush your teeth, but only in small amounts. When you receive a fluoride treatment from your dentist, a more effective, higher concentration of fluoride is used than what is contained in a toothpaste.
Fluoride can help protect teeth from cavities as well as fix teeth that are in the very early stages of decay. Fluoride treatments are quick and completely painless.
The treatment goes as follows:
Step 1: Applying the Fluoride
Fluoride can be applied in a couple of different ways. These include gel, foam, varnish or a solution. If your dentist gives you fluoride in a varnish or solution form, this will be used as a rinse. Gel form fluoride is applied to the surface of your teeth and left on for a couple of minutes, and the other form, foam, is placed in a mouth guard that is left on your teeth.
Step 2: Removal of Fluoride
Once your dentist cleans up any excess fluoride still in your mouth, they will most likely advise you to not eat or drink anything for 30 minutes. The fluoride needs time to absorb into your teeth to fix and clean them.
Step 3: Additional Treatments
Depending on your situation, your dentist may recommend fluoride treatment every 3, 6, or 12 months. For individuals with a higher risk of tooth decay, there are fluoride products available by prescription that your dentist may suggest to you.
The easiest way to protect your teeth from plaque and the risk of tooth decay is through proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits. There are fluoride mouthwashes available at stores and we suggest checking the ADA database for products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. These products are tested for safety and effectiveness, you can find their accepted fluoride mouthwash products here.