What is fluoride treatment?
Fluoride treatments are typically professional treatments containing a high concentration of fluoride that a dentist or hygienist will apply to a person’s teeth to improve health and reduce the risk of cavities. These in-office treatments may take the form of a solution, gel, foam, or varnish. There are also some high-concentration fluoride treatments that people can use at home but only under the specific direction of a dentist. The fluoride dentists use in these treatments is similar to the fluoride in toothpaste. However, the treatment contains much higher doses and may offer more rapid benefits.
What are the Benefits of fluoride and fluoride treatments?
Fluoride has several benefits for the teeth:
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. It also reverses early decay. In children under 6 years of age, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also helps speed remineralization as well as disrupts acid production in already erupted teeth of both children and adults.
When taken together, these benefits may help to:
• reduce the risk of cavities
• slow the growth of cavities
• delay the need for expensive dental work
• prolong the life of baby teeth
• reduce the amount of time and money a person has to spend at the dentist
What happens during a professional fluoride treatment?
Dentists provide professional fluoride treatments in the form of a highly concentrated rinse, foam, gel, or varnish. The treatment may be applied with a swab, brush, tray, or mouthwash.These treatments have much more fluoride than what’s in your water or toothpaste. They only take a few minutes to apply. You may be asked to avoid eating or drinking for 30 minutes after the treatment so the fluoride can fully absorb.