Fluoride is a natural mineral that builds strong teeth and prevents cavities. It’s been an essential oral health treatment for decades. Fluoride supports healthy tooth enamel and fights the bacteria that harm teeth and gums. Tooth enamel is the outer protective layer of each tooth.
What Is A Fluoride Treatment?
Fluoride treatments are typically professional treatments containing a high concentration of fluoride that a dentist or hygienist will apply to a person’s teeth to improve health and reduce the risk of cavities.
These in-office treatments may take the form of a solution, gel, foam, or varnish.
The fluoride dentists use in these treatments is similar to the fluoride in toothpaste. However, the treatment contains much higher doses and may offer more rapid benefits.
You may be asked to avoid eating or drinking for 30 minutes after the treatment so the fluoride can fully absorb.
The Benefits Of Fluoride And Fluoride Treatments
Fluoride has several benefits for the teeth:
- It helps the body better use minerals, such as calcium and phosphate. The teeth reabsorb these minerals to repair weak tooth enamel.
- It joins into the tooth structure when teeth are developing to strengthen the enamel of the teeth, making them less vulnerable to bacteria and cavities for life.
- It slows or even reverses the development of cavities by harming bacteria that cause cavities.
When taken together, these benefits may help to:
- Reduce the risk of cavities
- Slow the growth of cavities
- Delay the need for expensive dental work
- Prolong the life of baby teeth
- Reduce the amount of time and money a person has to spend at the dentist.
By preventing cavities and slowing the growth of bacteria, a fluoride treatment may also:
- Prevent gum disease
- Reduce Tooth pain
- Prevent the premature loss of teeth
Fluoride treatments can improve oral health, which, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is a major predictor of overall health. Poor oral health can cause a range of other health conditions, including cardiovascular disease.
Fluoride for children
If your child is under 3 years old, they should only brush their teeth with close supervision. Apply only a thin layer of fluoride toothpaste to their toothbrush. The toothpaste should cover less than half of the bristles or be no bigger than a grain of rice.
Fluoride toothpaste the size of a pea is recommended for children ages 3 to 6 years old. You should watch children to ensure they spit toothpaste out while brushing.
Fluoride is a natural mineral that prevents cavities. It restores minerals to tooth enamel and prevents harmful bacteria from building up in the mouth.
Oral health greatly affects other bodily functions and overall health. To take good care of your mouth:
- Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time.
- Floss once per day.
- Avoid sugary snacks and beverages.
- Don’t smoke.
- Visit a board-certified dentist at least once per year.
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