Fluoride is a common naturally-occurring mineral that helps prevent cavities by strengthening tooth enamel. By reinforcing the tough enamel of the outermost protective layers of the tooth, fluoride contributes to life-long healthy teeth.
Fluoride is beneficial to everyone. Plaque, a sticky layer of dissolved food particles and bacteria, attaches to the tooth surface and produces acid. The tougher the enamel surface, the less likely you are to get a cavity.
Professional fluoride treatments may take many forms, including fluoride rises, varnish, gels, or foams. Dentists may apply them with a brush, tray, mouthwash, or swab. The fluoride in these applications is very highly concentrated, allowing it to penetrate into the enamel and begin reinforcing the tooth’s structure rapidly and thoroughly.
The application takes a few minutes. You may need to wait up to 10-15 minutes for absorption to get underway. After that, you must avoid eating or drinking for another 30 minutes. That lets the fluoride penetrate the tooth’s surface through and through. The level of fluoride and its bioavailability is far higher than what’s in the water supply.
Insurance typically covers the full expense of fluoride treatment for kids. For adults, costs vary, although it’s not considered an expensive procedure.
The American Dental Association recommends having a professional treatment at your dentist’s office once or twice a year, depending on your risk factors for cavities. Your dentist can also prescribe a highly fortified fluoride treatment for you to use at home.
Although fluoride is found in most municipalities water supplies, it’s crucial to use fluoride toothpaste as well. Toothbrushing removes sticky plaque from the surface of the teeth, dislodging bacteria that otherwise would damage gum tissue and attack enamel. Flossing is a must-do as well, to get food particles out from between teeth in places where a toothbrush has trouble reaching.
Visit us at Dental Wellness of Suffern to see if a professional fluoride treatment is for you. We can help you keep your teeth strong and healthy for a lifetime of great oral hygiene.