What is a Fluoride Treatment?
Fluoride's importance to improving oral health has been acknowledged by the ADA (American Dental Association), the World Health Organization (WHO), the American Medical Association (AMA), and many other professional medical organizations. Communities that add fluoride to their water supply have fewer problems with tooth decay among their citizens. A mineral naturally occurring in some types of foods, fluoride helps to strengthen and remineralize tooth structure. Professional fluoride treatments at LANCO Dental Care in Lancaster, PA can help children with growing teeth and teens and adults who are more prone to decay reduce their risk and protect their smiles. Learn more about professional fluoride treatments and how they might benefit your family's oral health by talking with our knowledgeable team.
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What Are the Benefits of Fluoride Treatments?
Fluoride treatment at LANCO Dental Care offers many advantages for oral health, allowing for a vital supplement to routine oral care. The most common advantages of this dental treatment include:
- Can help minimize tooth sensitivity: Fluoride treatment might relieve tooth sensitivity, which is mostly triggered by exposed dentin or gum recession
- Stronger tooth enamel: May help fix damaged enamel and block further deterioration
- Improves comprehensive dental health: Fluoride treatment works side by side with routine oral hygiene habits and dental cleanings to preserve good oral wellness and prevent dental problems
- Cavity protection: This can help make teeth extra protected from cavities and decay
- Meant for every age: Valuable for people of varying ages, from kids to older adults
Am I a Good Candidate for a Fluoride Treatment?
Fluoride treatments may be administered to all patients, although this preventive service is typically recommended for children whose teeth are developing and teens who have not developed a good oral care routine at home. Our experienced team may also suggest professional fluoride treatments for older patients who do not have fluoride in their drinking water or those with a history of or increased susceptibility to tooth decay. In some cases, we may recommend fluoride to help remineralize early signs of tooth decay in an effort to prevent the need for restorative care. LANCO Dental Care uses a range of fluoride formulas to address varying needs and offers fun flavors to make these treatments easier for all patients.
What Happens When You Get a Fluoride Treatment?
Professional fluoride treatments are usually performed every six months at the end of a dental cleaning visit. Our team will help you determine the fluoride option best for you and your family. As soon as a flavor is selected, a team member will begin to prepare the fluoride treatment as a gel, foam, or varnish application. Fluoride varnishes are painted onto the teeth while other options may be swished or applied through mouth trays to allow the fluoride time to penetrate the enamel. The fluoride can then be spit or suctioned out. Instructions on when you or your family member can eat, drink, or rinse will be provided, but this is generally only a period of about 30 minutes.
How Do I Maintain My Smile at Home?
Stomach problems can occur if any fluoride is consumed; however, this should diminish over the course of 24 hours. In certain cases, our team may recommend fluoride supplements for you or your child to take at home. Since fluoride is toxic in large amounts, it is important to exercise caution and keep supplements out of reach of children. While fluoride treatments help to strengthen the enamel or remineralize very early signs of tooth decay, it is still essential to keep a regular oral care routine at home, including brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste and flossing each day. Our skilled practitioners will continue to assess your family's fluoride needs during routine cleaning and exam visits at our family dental practice.
Fluoride Treatment FAQ
How long do I have to leave the fluoride on my teeth after my appointment?
Ideally, it is best to wait for a minimum of four hours before brushing, flossing, and rinsing your mouth. If you can wait the recommended six hours, your teeth will have even more protection.
When can I start eating and drinking after my fluoride treatment?
You can consume cold beverages immediately after your treatment, but hot drinks, alcohol, and mouthwash require a six-hour wait. Hard foods also require a longer wait, while soft foods like yogurt, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, ice cream, and smoothies are a better option in the meantime. You don’t have to go hungry, but hard foods can scrape your teeth and remove the fluoride.
What are fluoride’s side effects?
The benefits of fluoride are widely known, which is why many cities put fluoride in their town’s water. However, too much fluoride can make you sick. The amount of fluoride in your drinking water is minute but effective at preventing future tooth decay. Too much fluoride can cause staining, pitting, and white specks on your teeth. Ingesting too much fluoride (you aren’t supposed to swallow the fluoride treatment) can lead to GI upset — so if you feel like you need to swallow after your treatment, spit instead.
Do I still have to brush my teeth after the fluoride treatment?
Yes! Wait at least six hours before brushing your teeth. You should continue brushing twice per day with a toothpaste that contains fluoride. A fluoride treatment may last for up to 12 months, but the benefits will last longer if you maintain a daily brushing, flossing, and mouth-washing routine. It is also recommended to avoid sugary foods and beverages and not smoke.
Is Fluoride Treatment Safe For the Entire Family?
Adults and children both benefit from a fluoride treatment, so to make sure your family enjoys strong teeth and healthy smiles, ask for professional fluoride treatments at LANCO Dental Care. We are pleased to offer professional fluoride treatments for patients of all ages to minimize the risk of cavities and halt the progression of early areas of decay. Contact our team in Lancaster, PA, to schedule an appointment for a dental cleaning with a fluoride treatment.
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