Fluoride gel, toothpaste, mouthwash, and other fluoride products treat cavities and tooth decay caused by acid-producing bacteria that settles on teeth and under the gums. The acid produced by this bacteria weakens teeth which can also cause pain.
Fluoride helps to protect teeth against this bacteria and even assists in repairing tooth decay. Many communities “fluoridate” (add fluoride to) their water because of the clear correlation between fluoride and decreased tooth decay, particularly in children.
Fluoride is one of our most important treatments for tooth decay; in fact, one of the main reasons for brushing your teeth is to apply the fluoride found in your toothpaste. It’s the active ingredient in most toothpastes and some over-the-counter mouthwashes.
However there’s a stronger concentration of fluoride available at your dentist. Fluoride gels and varnishes and similar treatments can be good options for all children and adults, but especially those who are at a higher risk of developing cavities. This high-grade, topical fluoride has a stronger concentration than typical toothpaste and fluoride products sold over the counter, and the higher concentration makes it more effective at protecting and repairing tooth enamel.
Fluoride gel treatment is quick and painless; a clear gel is applied directly to the patient’s tooth enamel with a small, soft brush and the procedure is done in a couple minutes. After the treatment, you’ll need to avoid hot food and liquids for a brief time to avoid removing the fluoride, but it’s a convenient treatment with minimal disruption to your normal day. We’ll give you detailed instructions during your appointment.
Part of our mission is to instill good oral hygiene habits in children and young adults. This includes regular dental visits, brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, and flossing daily. It’s important to know that fluoride treatments at the dental office aren’t a replacement for good oral hygiene.
Come visit our practice, and we’ll help you decide whether fluoride treatment and other options are right for you. Depending on your individual needs, your dentist may recommend topical fluoride applications every 6-12 months, or possibly every 3 months.
When you visit one of our offices, you can count on personalized care. Our custom treatment plans and compassionate care is why, over and over again, patients decide to return to our offices. Call us to make an appointment today.