What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a natural mineral that can be found in food and water. It is sometimes added to water when the level isn’t high enough. It can also be found in some over-the-counter toothpastes.
Fluoride helps protect the teeth from sugars and plaque which can lead to tooth decay. It helps strengthen tooth enamel and makes it more resistant.
Types of Fluoride Treatment
There are two types of fluoride treatment. They are topical fluoride and systemic fluoride.
Topical Fluoride Treatment
Topical fluoride treatment is applied directly to the teeth. The different forms it comes in includes varnish, gel, foams, rinses and toothpaste. Here is the process of topical fluoride application:
- Tooth will be cleaned.
- Tooth will be dried.
- Varnish or gel will be brushed over the tooth with an applicator.
Systemic Fluoride Treatment
Systemic fluorides are swallowed and are included in water, certain foods and supplements.
Fluoride Treatment for Children
There are several options for children’s dental fluoride treatment.
For children aged 3–7, only a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste is needed. They should be encouraged to spit out the excess toothpaste after brushing. Always check the concentration levels of fluoride in the toothpaste. For children under 3, it should be 1,000 ppm. Anyone over age 3 needs 1,450 ppm.
- Supplemental Fluoride
Fluoride supplements are available for children. Consult with your dentist before administering them for the correct dosage.
- Fluoride Mouthwash
Fluoride mouthwash should be avoided in children under 6 ye to prevent excess fluoride exposure that can lead to fluorosis. This is a condition caused by excess exposure to fluoride, and it discolors and disfigures the teeth of children.
Fluoride Treatment for Adults
There are many fluoride benefits for teeth. It can be used to treat many dental conditions such as dry mouth, frequent cavities and gum disease.
- Dry Mouth
Dry mouth (Xerostomia) can increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Topical fluoride will be needed to help fight these. A lack of saliva may indicate that your mouth is not being cleansed regularly and acids that attack the teeth are not being removed.
- A History of Frequent Cavities
A history of frequent cavities can be an indication of a fluoride deficiency. Adding fluoride treatments can help in the prevention of new cavities.
- Gum Disease
When the gums are unhealthy and the roots become exposed, it increases the risk of tooth decay occurring. Fluoride mouthwash and toothpaste is highly effective at treating gum disease, as well as maintaining overall mouth health.
- Dental Crowns, Bridges or Braces
Crowns, bridges and braces can increase the risk of decay and gum disease because they can make the teeth harder to clean. So, fluoride is important to help protect hard to reach areas.
Post Treatment Care
After receiving a fluoride treatment, it is recommended that you continue with your regular dental check-ups. Your dentist will let you know if you need future fluoride treatments, and it’s important to keep up a regular and thorough oral health practice at home.
Getting Your Fluoride Treatment at West Coast Dental
We can help you fight cavities and keep you smiling with our fluoride treatments.
Team of Board-Certified Specialists
We have highly-qualified, expert dentists available for your treatment needs. Our board-certified specialists are qualified to meet your dental needs.
Same-day Appointments Available
We can accommodate the best time for you when you book an appointment. We also offer same-day appointments for emergency issues.
Most Insurances Accepted
At West Coast Dental, we accept most insurances. Where insurance isn’t available or it isn’t covered by insurance, the cost of fluoride treatment can range between $10-$30.
Here is a list of frequently asked questions regarding fluoride treatments.
What is fluoride treatment?
Fluoride treatment is a procedure used to help prevent cavities. Your dentist will use a topical varnish or foam and apply it to the teeth to help strengthen and protect your enamel.
Is fluoride safe?
Yes. Fluoride is safe in low concentrations. It has been heavily researched and it is safe when used as directed.
Are there any side effects of fluoride treatments?
There can be some side effects of fluoride treatment. The main one is discolouration of the teeth —also known as fluorosis. When a child ingests too much fluoride, it can cause white streaks, patches and discoloration of baby teeth and developing adult teeth. Less common side effects include skin irritation and allergic reactions.
Can you have a fluoride deficiency or a fluoride overdose?
Yes. You can have a fluoride deficiency or a fluoride overdose. The first sign of a deficiency is usually cavities. Signs of an overdose can include an upset stomach. Children should always be encouraged to spit out fluoride toothpaste and not swallow it.
When should children begin using fluoride?
Children should start fluoride treatment around the age of 3. Consult with your dentist for specific recommendations for your child.
How does fluoride help my teeth?
Fluoride treatments can help strengthen your teeth enamel. It is also known to protect from acid attacks that can cause decay.
Why should I get a professional fluoride treatment?
Professional topical fluoride treatment is higher in strength than systemic fluoride. This means it is more effective at protecting the teeth than at-home treatments or supplements.
How many times should you get a fluoride treatment?
Depending on the health of your teeth, your dentist may recommend treatment every three, six or 12 months. For children (depending on their age), it is usual for them to receive treatment twice a year.
How do I take care of my teeth after a professional fluoride treatment?
After the treatment, you may be asked not to rinse, eat or drink for at least 30 minutes to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride and help repair microscopic carious areas You should continue with a regular routine of brushing, flossing and getting check-ups with your dentist.
How long after a fluoride treatment can I brush?
It is usually recommended that you wait for at least 6 hours before brushing and flossing your teeth. Your dentist can give you specific instructions when you have your treatment.
What should I not eat after a fluoride treatment and for how long?
You should try to avoid rinsing, eating and drinking for at least 30 minutes after the treatment to give it time to absorb and seal. The longer you can wait, the more time it will have to work. If you do eat, try soft foods and avoid hot drinks and alcohol for at least six hours after the treatment.