Fluoride Treatment - Ford Dental Group - Huntington Beach, CA Dentist

Fluoride Treatment

In Dental Hygiene, Dental Services by [email protected]

Fluoride Varnish Treatment

Cavities are the most common dental health ailment in the world. Almost all Americans experience a cavity at one time or another in their life. Cavities are caused by acid-producing bacteria that collect around your teeth and gums in a sticky, yellow film called plaque.

This film can be cleaned with good oral care, including regular brushing and flossing as well as a routine professional dental cleaning. This prevents the development of cavities. Another effective way to protect your teeth from the damaging effects of bacteria is through fluoride treatment.

At East Peak Dental, we can offer you fluoride treatment that can disrupt the activity of bacteria and help strengthen and remineralize your enamel.

Fluoride Treatment - East Peak Dental Group - South Lake Tahoe, CA Dentist

What Is Fluoride?

Many people have heard of the mineral fluoride, but they often don’t know how it is beneficial for our teeth. Fluoride is a mineral that is found in natural water, certain foods, and supplements. It can be taken both topically and systemically.

  • A concentrated, sticky form of fluoride painted onto teeth during a brief dental visit.
  • Typically contains 5% to 9% sodium fluoride, offering higher fluoride concentration than toothpaste or mouthwash.
  • Sets quickly into a thin, protective coating that gradually releases fluoride over several hours.
  • Flavored varnish: Available in various flavors like mint or bubblegum, making it more pleasant for children.

What Does A Fluoride Treatment Involve?

Fluoride treatment is a completely non-invasive and safe preventive dental treatment that takes only a few minutes. At East Peak Dental, our dental team will use a fluoride varnish that contains a high concentration of fluoride. This varnish will then be applied to your teeth with the help of a fine brush or cotton swab.

Who Are The Candidates For Fluoride Treatment?

Fluoride treatment can be given to anyone who is in danger of getting cavities. Some risk factors that increase the likelihood of cavities include:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Eating disorders
  • Tobacco, drug, and alcohol abuse
  • Foregoing routine professional dental care
  • Not caring for oral hygiene during an active orthodontic treatment
  • Exposed tooth root due to gingivitis
  • Decreased flow of saliva resulting in dry mouth
  • A poor diet rich in sugary food
  • Tooth enamel defects
  • Undergoing radiation therapy to the head region

Frequency of Treatment:

  • Recommended every 6 months: Optimal interval for maintaining adequate fluoride levels and maximizing cavity prevention.
  • Frequency may vary based on individual needs: Our dentists will consider factors like age, cavity risk, and oral hygiene practices to determine the best schedule for you.

Benefits Of Fluoride Treatment

Fluoride treatment is very beneficial for the protection and continued health of your natural teeth. If you are at high risk of cavities, we may recommend fluoride treatment for you. Some of the benefits of this mineral include:

  • Strengthens tooth enamel: Fluoride ions integrate into the enamel, making it more resistant to acid attacks from plaque and bacteria.
  • Prevents cavities: Regular varnish treatments significantly reduce the risk of cavities, especially for children and adults with high caries risk.
  • Reverses early tooth decay: Can even remineralize small white spots, preventing them from progressing into full-blown cavities.
  • Quick and painless application: Takes only a few minutes to paint the varnish on your teeth quickly and efficiently.
  • Safe and effective for all ages: Suitable for children, adults, and seniors with varying oral health needs.

Keep in mind, though, that fluoride treatment cannot restore enamel with moderate or severe damage. Once your enamel is destroyed, it is gone for good and you will need to resort to restorative dentistry to ensure your tooth does not fall out before its time. That is why we advise you to also exercise good oral care and lifestyle habits when using fluoride treatment.

Post-Operative Instructions for Fluoride Varnish Treatment

After your recent fluoride varnish treatment, it's crucial to follow specific instructions to ensure optimal results and maximize the benefits of the varnish. Here's a breakdown of typical post-op instructions:

Duration of Varnish Adherence:

  • The varnish typically remains active for 4-6 hours after application, allowing the fluoride to fully release and penetrate the tooth enamel.

Restrictions during the Activity Period:

  • Do Not Brush or Floss Your Teeth: Premature brushing and flossing can remove the varnish before it fully releases its fluoride, reducing its effectiveness.
  • Avoid Hot Beverages and Foods: Heat can soften the varnish, potentially causing it to detach prematurely. Stick to lukewarm or cold drinks and foods during this period.
  • Avoid Hard or Crunchy Foods: Chewing on hard foods can dislodge the varnish. Opt for soft foods like yogurt, soup, or mashed potatoes.
  • Avoid Alcohol-Based Mouthwashes: Alcohol can interfere with the fluoride's absorption and potentially irritate your gums. Choose alcohol-free mouthwashes or wait until after the activity period to use your regular mouthwash.
  • Avoid Other Fluoride Sources: Skip toothpastes, gels, or rinses containing fluoride during this time to prevent over-fluoridation.

Resuming Normal Activities:

  • After 4-6 hours, you can resume your normal oral hygiene routine, including brushing, flossing, and using your regular mouthwash.
  • If possible, waiting until morning to brush and floss allows the varnish to work even longer.
  • Continue your regular oral hygiene practices thereafter, maintaining good brushing and flossing habits for optimal oral health.

If you or your family members are concerned about cavities, fluoride treatment can help prevent those. Call us at (775) 580-7410 so we can schedule an appointment for your family and you today!