Fluoride is a natural mineral majorly known to prevent tooth decay. Fluoridation of food and water supplies is a continuous process, which purifies and destroys harmful germs and bacteria. The benefits of fluoride were discovered more than fifty years ago and many organisations and healthcare professionals support the use of the mineral as a means to prevent tooth deterioration.
Topical fluoride is mainly used when teeth have erupted by leaking into the outside of the tooth enamel. The use of topical fluoride strengthens the teeth after eruption by creating more resilient and stronger teeth. Topical fluoride is mainly used through dental products such toothpaste, gels and mouthwash. Dentists suggest the professional application of fluoride for children during their biannual dental check-ups.
Systemic fluoride not only helps the teeth that have erupted, but also supports tooth formation under the gum. Systemic fluoride is found in most clean water supply and most foods. The healthcare provider might also prescribe fluoride supplements in the form of gel or liquid. Tablets are perfect for children, while infants are recommended to take droplets. One should take cautionary steps to monitor the amounts of fluoride ingestion in order to prevent fluorosis which means white stains on the teeth.
Depending on the type of fluoride treatment method used, the dentist at Olivia Rodrigues will work on applying the solution. The teeth will be dried to prevent any dilution of the fluoride solution. If the fluoride is within the form of a foam or a gel, they will mostly use a mouth tray to allow the teeth to sit in the formula. If the fluoride is in the form of varnish, the solution would be painted onto the tooth enamel with a cotton swab or a brush. The dentist will ask that one should not swallow the treatment while it sits on their teeth. This could take anywhere from one to four minutes.
After the treatment, the dentist will ask that one refrain from consuming anything, including water, for minimum 30 minutes. This time period will allow the teeth to properly absorb the fluoride, remineralizing as much of the tooth enamel as possible.
One might need follow-up treatment, depending on their dentist’s discretion. This can differ from three, six, or 12 months. The dentist might also recommend a few ways one can use fluoride at home with their routine oral care plan.
A general dentist should be the one to administer this type of treatment because they are responsible of performing routine dental care to the teeth, and a fluoride treatment is considered to be routine. Other dental specialists focus on few things such as orthodontics or gum disease, but a general dentist tends to mostly focus their attention on fighting off cavities and ensuring better dental health.
Fluoride treatments cannot be done within the home environment because fluoride also has disadvantages to it. Too much fluoride might be harmful to the body. With that being said, it is crucial that a general dentist administers the fluoride treatment to oversee the usage, ensuring that no excess amount is given.
If the child is under 3 years old, they should only brush their teeth with the parent’s supervision. Fluoride toothpaste the size of a pea is advisable for children ages 3 to 6 years old. One should watch children to ensure they spit the toothpaste out while brushing.