Varnish fluoride and similar fluoride-based supplies are a household name in dental health. This is because it can help prevent cavities, reduce them, or even impede them from getting worse. This type of protective coating is made with fluoride. Fluoride is a type of mineral that is used to strengthen the outer layer of teeth, which is known as the enamel. At Grove Street Family Dentistry, we are glad to answer some of the most frequent questions regarding this treatment and provide better insight on why it is important for your oral hygiene.
What is a Fluoride Treatment?
Fluoride treatment is a standard oral health procedure for both adults and children that is applied in order to strengthen your enamel and inhibit bacterial growth in your teeth. This, as a result, makes a really powerful tool for preventing tooth decay or cavities. While it is true that large amounts of fluoride can do more harm than good to our teeth, the concentration that is used in dental care products is specifically made to avoid any risks of damage.
How Is a Fluoride Treatment Applied?
During a fluoride treatment, the fluoride supplement is applied to the teeth of a patient through the use of gels, rinse, foam, or varnish. These are generally painted over with a small brush on the surface and sides of all of your teeth, and should stay there for a few minutes in order to work. The varnish, specifically, may feel sticky at first; but it should harden when it comes in contact with saliva in a matter of seconds. While a patient may feel the cured varnish with their tongue, it will be impossible to remove it with it.
What Should I Do After a Fluoride Treatment?
As soon as the fluoride supplement is removed by our professionals, the procedure will be completed. In order for the fluoride to be properly absorbed by your teeth, we may recommend you avoid eating or drinking for at least 30 minutes. Furthermore, we may also ask you to not brush your teeth or floss for the rest of the day, and to consume foods or drinks that are cold or warm, but never hot.
While fluoride treatments are important for patients of all ages, children especially benefit from them due to their tendency to develop tooth decay and cavities. It is recommended for babies to receive their first fluoride treatment as soon as they are six months old, or when they get their first teeth. From then, it is advised to continue attending our office as frequently as at least twice per year. This will ensure that your children do not develop any kind of dental problem, and will also help to build good oral health habits that will prevail as they grow up.
Fluoride treatment is necessary for patients of all ages, despite popular misconceptions that they are only beneficial to children. If you have any further questions regarding the procedure, or desire to schedule an appointment, feel free to contact us at (360) 659-3200. Our team of dental professionals here at Grove Street Family Dentistry will be pleased to answer any of your questions and help you schedule an appointment with us.