Have you had a professional dental cleaning? If so, you probably also had a fluoride treatment. Several dental products like mouthwash and toothpaste do contain fluoride.
Fluoride is an important natural mineral in oral health as it helps in supporting tooth enamel, strengthening the teeth, and preventing tooth decay. It also helps in fighting harmful bacteria attacking your gums and teeth.
At Life Long Dental, we recommend fluoride treatments every six months following your dental checkup and cleaning. We have knowledgeable staff who will offer instructions on how best you can care for your cleaned teeth.
What is Fluoride Treatment?
Fluoride treatment is a common dental procedure where a hygienist or a dentist applies fluoride to your teeth, to strengthen teeth that are prone to decay and prevent cavities. Our dentist will apply fluoride using varnish, gel, or rinse using a mouthwash, brush, swab, or tray. However, fluoride treatment does not guarantee the complete prevention of cavities. You will still have to brush and floss regularly while eating a healthy diet.
What Does Fluoride Do to Your Teeth?
Whenever you use a dental product that contains fluoride, such as mouthwash or toothpaste, fluoride will always mix with your saliva. When saliva covers the teeth, the enamel will absorb fluoride, bonding with phosphate and calcium, which exist naturally in the enamel, creating fluorapatite. This is a strong material capable of resisting decay and helps prevent cavities.
How Does Fluoride Work?
Fluoride works during remineralization and demineralization procedures that occur naturally in the mouth. Demineralization starts with the presence of bacteria which will be feeding on sugar and other carbohydrates present in your mouth. Fluoride will help protect and control any damage caused by demineralization, which will help keep the teeth resilient.
Whenever your saliva is less acidic, fluoride will help replenish phosphate ions and calcium that help in making your teeth more hard and protected. Losing a lot of minerals without sufficient replacement will lead to tooth decay. The amount of fluoride required for maintaining good dental health is far below the quantities that can lead to toxic effects on human health.
Benefits of Fluoride
There are several benefits fluoride offers to your oral health. It prevents harmful bacteria growth in your mouth, thereby preventing tooth decay. Fluoride penetrates the inner teeth layers, helping create a strong cover. It is a proactive natural mineral that restores all of the minerals on your tooth enamel.
Exposing your kids to fluoride will reduce their chances of developing tooth decay. This is greatly beneficial since cavities are among the top issues affecting kids' dental health. Apart from the usual dental fluoride treatment, you can also use mouthwash and toothpaste with fluoride to help prevent tooth decay and help strengthen the developing tooth enamel.
Fluoride also helps improve the absorption of minerals like phosphate and calcium, which help in preventing teeth from weakening. Fluoride can help better maintain baby teeth, prevent gum disease, and premature tooth loss.
Several dental health benefits are associated with fluoride varnish treatment. Our dentists will discuss with patients all of the benefits they can expect from fluoride.
How Long Does Fluoride Treatment Last?
Fluoride comes in the form of varnish, is applied, and sticks onto the teeth for between four to six hours before being brushed away. By the time of washing the teeth, the fluoride will have been absorbed into the enamel of the teeth, creating protection. Fluoride varnish treatment is carried out three to four times a year to ensure it is effective.
Taking high concentrations of fluoride packed in varnish has short and long-lasting results. The immediate impact will be on those suffering from sensitive teeth. After applying varnish to the tooth, it will expose the tooth surface to fluoride for long hours. This ensures the patient has the best mineral absorption into the teeth.
When Can I Eat After Fluoride Treatment?
Patients with fluoride treatments are advised to avoid taking any food for 30 minutes. This time will be enough for the absorption of fluoride. Different brands sell fluoride, which requires a waiting period of between four to six hours.
Who Can Use Fluoride Treatment?
Fluoride treatment can be used on both children and adults. In children, fluoride treatment helps in the teeth development process. It protects against plaque by attacking the enamel with acid eroding the plaque from the teeth.
Our dentist recommends kids receive fluoride treatment even before their teeth develop to prevent bacterial infection, tooth decay, and future dental problems. They can advise fluoride treatment every three to six months, depending on the cavity risk of the child.
In adults, a fluoride treatment will help prevent tooth decay by making your teeth enamel resistant to acidic attacks from sugar and bacteria in your mouth. A fluoride treatment in adults will also help reverse symptoms of early tooth decay.
Is Fluoride Treatment Painful?
Fluoride treatment is not painful. Patients will not experience any form of pain during and after fluoride treatment. Fluoride mineral is very common in water and foods. Fluoride is present in mouthwash and toothpaste and helps in preventing cavities.
What is the Cost of Fluoride Treatment?
Dental insurance coverage will always cater to fluoride treatment for kids to 18-year-olds. Patients should check their specific dental insurance plan to determine what benefits they will be able to receive and what their family members are able to receive.
For those who will pay for fluoride treatment out of pocket, the cost will range from $20 to $50. The cost is a small fraction of what you will have to pay for cavity repair or a dental filling. This makes fluoride treatment a cost-effective, efficient, and conservative method of maintaining the health of your natural teeth.
Schedule Fluoride Treatment Today!
Visit Life Long Dental today for fluoride treatment. Our services are second to none. We have modern equipment and a team of certified and professional dentists. Call us at (360) 633-2377. We welcome you to our office for all of your dental needs.