What does fluoride treatment do, and how long does it last?
May 01, 2023
When your enamel is damaged or eroded, the sensitive inner parts of the tooth, like the dentin and pulp, are exposed to external factors like bacteria, heat, and cold. It could lead to infection, discomfort, and tooth loss. We can help prevent this from happening.
Fluoride treatments are simple and effective ways to restore the lost minerals in the enamel and strengthen your teeth, making them less vulnerable to fractures and infections. In this article, let’s explore what fluoride treatment entails, its benefits, and how long it lasts.
What are fluoride treatments?
Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral. Dental fluoride treatments involve applying concentrated fluoride to your teeth. The fluoride can be in the form of a gel, rinse, or varnish. Applying fluoride helps restore the lost minerals in the enamel, also known as remineralization. It strengthens the enamel, making it more resistant to damage.
Fluoride treatments are considered preventive dental measures to prevent cavities. Since adults and children are vulnerable to cavities, routine fluoride treatments can help you and your family develop and maintain strong and healthy teeth.
Professional fluoride treatments are quick, straightforward, and painless. The hygienist will use a brush, swab, or tray to apply a highly-concentrated fluoride foam, gel, or varnish on your teeth. The fluoride is left to be absorbed by the teeth for 4 – 6 hours and then brushed off.
Within the first 30 minutes, you can’t eat or drink anything. After that, you can consume cool and soft items. However, you shouldn’t brush, floss, or eat hard, chewy, hot, alcoholic, or acidic food items within 4 – 6 hours (please follow your hygienist’s instructions).
How long does fluoride treatment last?
How long your fluoride treatments will last depends on your dental hygiene, diet, and lifestyle habits. Typically, professional fluoride treatments can last for a few months. You must get regular treatments every few months for maximum protection against cavities.
The frequency of your fluoride treatments will depend on your dental health. Our dentist in 91723 recommends fluoride treatments every four, six, or 12 months. People with a higher risk of cavities can get additional fluoride products like gels, toothpaste, or rinses.
Benefits of Fluoride Treatments
Routine fluoride treatments can offer numerous benefits, including:
Strengthening your teeth
Since your tooth’s enamel contains minerals, regular fluoride treatments help remineralize your teeth, making them strong, healthy, and more damage-resistant.
Protection from decay or cavities
Tooth decay develops when oral bacteria release harmful chemicals that erode your tooth’s enamel, causing holes or cavities. Regular fluoride restores lost minerals in your enamel, preventing tooth decay.
Significant enamel erosion exposes the softer underlying dentin layer, which has tiny tubules that connect to the pulp. Therefore, you may experience mild to severe sensitivity when you take hot, cold, and sugary items. Fluoride treatments can help remineralize and rebuild your tooth enamel, reducing or preventing teeth sensitivity.
Saving you money
Fluoride treatments strengthen your teeth, significantly lowering your tooth decay and loss risk. If not prevented, these dental issues can cause the need for future treatments like dental fillings, root canals, crowns, and implants, which can be costly and invasive.
Who Can Benefit from Fluoride Treatments
Anyone, including children and adults, is a good candidate for fluoride treatments. You especially need fluoride treatments if you:
Have a history of cavities
Have a dry mouth
Have braces or other orthodontic devices
Have underlying conditions or medications that cause a dry mouth