A Beginner's Guide to Fluoride Dental Treatment

A Beginner's Guide to Fluoride Dental Treatment

For decades, fluoride has been used to strengthen teeth and prevent cavities. Typically, cavities occur when plaque and bacteria buildup up in the mouth, producing an acid that erodes teeth and gum tissues. Once the tooth’s enamel is broken down, bacteria find their way to the tooth’s pulp, infecting the nerves.

Fluoride treatments can be administered by a professional, where the dentist applies a high fluoride concentration to a patient’s teeth. The treatments are usually in the form of a gel, solution, foam, or varnish.

If you are unable to get the fluoride treatment from your dentist, you can also use at-home fluoride treatments such as fluoride mouth rinses and toothpaste. Furthermore, you can also get fluoride from natural sources such as tea, water, infant formula, fish, and many more.

In-office treatments offer more immediate benefits as compared to at-home fluoride treatments.

How are fluoride treatments offered?

Dental anxiety is common for many people. Typically, fluoride treatment is among the simplest, quickest, and pain-free dental treatments that you’ll ever get. The dentist will begin by cleaning your teeth. Since the procedure is non-invasive, anesthesia won’t be needed. Next, the dentist will provide the treatment via a swab, brush, tray, or mouthguard. The application takes only a couple of minutes.

After the treatment, you are not supposed to drink or eat anything for 30 minutes. This provides enough time for the teeth to absorb the treatment effectively and repair the microscopic areas of decay.

When and what to eat after fluoride treatments

Again, your dentist will instruct you not to eat or drink anything for at least 30 minutes. Besides that, you may want to think about what to eat after the treatment to prevent undoing the treatment. It’s also worth noting that your teeth and gums may feel sensitive.

Immediately following the treatment, it’s a good idea to avoid the following foods and beverages:

  • Spicy foods
  • Citrus fruits, including lemons, grapefruits, limes, and oranges
  • Hard or crunchy foods
  • Acidic and sugary foods and drinks
  • Extremely hot or cold foods

Instead, opt:

  • Soft foods, such as mashed potatoes, yogurt, bananas, and applesauce
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Soups and liquid foods

How soon should I get my next treatment?

That depends on factors such as your age, oral health, and existing oral conditions. If you are in good health, your dentist will recommend you get fluoride treatments every 6 to 12 months.

However, if you have cavities or are at a higher risk of developing tooth decay, your dentist might recommend getting more treatments. They may also recommend other preventive measures such as dental sealants or prescribed fluoride-based mouth rinses or gel.

Signs you’re at a high risk of cavities

  • Eating disorders
  • Poor oral hygiene and health
  • Poor diet
  • Weak enamel
  • Decreased saliva or dry mouth
  • Excessive alcohol or drug use
  • Lack of professional dental care

Benefits of Fluoride Treatment

Fluoride has numerous benefits for your teeth and overall well-being, including:

  • Allows your teeth to absorb and use minerals such as phosphate and calcium better
  • Slows, reverses, or prevents the development of cavities by inhibiting the growth of bacteria
  • Prevents gum disease
  • Strengthens the tooth’s enamel
  • Prolongs the lifespan of baby teeth
  • Delays or prevents the need for complex or expensive dental work
  • Prevents premature teeth loss
  • Improves your oral hygiene and health
  • Reduces tooth pain
  • Quick, fast, and painless
  • Highly effective

Side Effects of Fluoride Treatment

As with a lot of things, too much fluoride can be bad.. While fluoride poisoning is very rare, fluoride overdose can harm developing teeth and bones in small children. These effects include:

  • Teeth pitting and staining
  • White specks on mature teeth
  • Weak bones
  • Problems with bone homeostasis

Overdose of fluoride supplement pills can cause:

  • Nause.
  • Tiredness
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive sweating
  • Death

Final Verdict

If your next dental appointment is approaching, it might be a good idea to consider fluoride treatment. It will keep your teeth, gums, and bones healthier and prevent dental problems such as cavities and gum disease. If you’re interested in dental fluoride treatments, contact Advanced Dental of Westport CT today to book your appointment.