Fluoride treatment is a safe and effective way to help prevent tooth decay, fight off harmful bacteria, and strengthen tooth enamel in both kids and adults.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a natural mineral that is found in our bones and teeth. It is also present in our drinking water, toothpastes, and mouthwashes because of its effectiveness at combating tooth decay and strengthening enamel. Even if your child receives fluoride through sources, such as drinking water, that doesn’t mean that additional treatment is not necessary or beneficial.
All children are at an increased risk for cavities because they have less dexterity than adults when it comes to brushing and flossing. This makes it more effective to remove all of the harmful bacteria that causes tooth decay. No matter your child’s age, fluoride treatment can be extremely effective when applied each time you bring them in for a dental appointment.
How is fluoride treatment applied?
The process is quick and easy, requiring only a few short minutes. While your child is seated in the dentist’s chair, a fluoride varnish will be applied to the front and chewing surfaces of their teeth, coating them to ensure a proper layer of protection. After a few minutes, you and your child will be free to go.
Is there any fluoride treatment aftercare my child should follow?
Yes. Your child should not eat or drink anything for at least 30 minutes after having fluoride applied to their teeth. This lets the varnish thoroughly soak into the teeth, creating a substantial barrier between the enamel and any possible bacteria that could result in tooth decay.
Apart from regular fluoride treatments, you can help your little one stay cavity-free by making sure they follow a normal oral hygiene routine of brushing twice a day for two minutes, flossing at least once a day, and rinsing with an ADA-approved mouthwash. It is also helpful to ensure they are eating a well-balanced diet and avoiding too many sugary and starchy foods.
What does fluoride do / what are the benefits?
Fluoride helps remineralize tooth enamel. The bacteria in our teeth that break down carbs and sugars produce acids that eat away at the minerals that help keep our teeth strong. Fluoride helps prevent, and even reverse the effects of acid. According to the CDC, “Fluoride varnish can prevent about one-third (33%) of cavities in the primary (baby) teeth.” For decades, dentists have continued to encourage and provide fluoride treatment to children and adults, but why? What is so great about fluoride that makes it an integral part of every dental visit?
- Strengthens tooth enamel—protecting teeth from damage and injury
- Combats tooth decay and cavities—fights off harmful bacteria
- Quick and painless—treatment can be completed in just minutes
- Requires no additional appointment—can be applied during a regular checkup
Questions About Fluoride?
We recommend that your child gets a fluoride application at each visit. Any and all treatments for your child are at your discretion—if you have any questions about fluoride treatment contact us today, request an appointment for your child, or explore the other pediatric dental services we offer using the links below.