Poor dental care practices can lead to tooth decay and dental cavities which may subsequently lead to other severe dental problems. In order to avoid this, a professional fluoride treatment is required to develop, strengthen and revitalize the tooth enamel.
Fluoride is a natural element that is usually added to most toothpaste, mouthwash, and tap water in order to build strong teeth and prevent dental cavities. Fluoride gives supports to and builds healthy tooth enamel as well as fights any bacterial infection that may harm the teeth and gums.
Fluoride treatment uses a more concentrated, effective and safe quantity of fluoride to protect the teeth against dental caries. There are two types of fluorides used in the treatment, these are acidulated phosphate fluoride and neutral sodium fluoride. Neutral sodium fluoride is basically for patients who have a dry mouth. Fluoride treatment can be administered in various forms, such as varnish, foam, and gel etc., to give you whiter teeth and healthier smile.
What to Expect during Fluoride Treatment
Although a fluoride treatment is normally given bi-annually (every 6 months) whenever a patient goes for dental cleaning and check-up, it can also be given at your dentist’s recommendation. Before the treatment is administered, the teeth to be cleaned must first be dried so as to prevent the strength of the fluoride from being diluted. After drying the teeth, the fluoride treatment would be administered to the teeth either in the form of a paint-on varnish, foam, or gel. The fluoride is left on the teeth for about 1 to 4 minutes. Once the treatment is completed, the patient would spit out all the fluoride from their mouth. Sometimes, the dentist may add a flavour chosen by the patient to the fluoride to make the treatment procedure a pleasant experience.
Fluoride Treatment Aftercare
There are several fluoride treatment aftercare patients should follow. To ensure that the fluoride treatment fully penetrates the tooth enamel and yield the desired result. During fluoride treatment aftercare the patient who received the treatment must not eat, drink, or smoke for about 30 minutes to 1 hour after the fluoride treatment.
Patients may experience nausea if they mistakenly swallow any of the fluorides. However, the nausea is temporary and should go away within 24 hours. Fluoride can actually be dangerous in high quantity, so your dentist must be careful during to use the right doses during treatment.
Fluoride, in high doses, can cause:
- very dense bones that aren’t very strong
- problems with bone homeostasis
- staining and pitting on teeth
- white specks on mature teeth
Acute toxicity of fluoride can cause:
- excessive sweating
Therefore, always keep fluoride supplements pills out of reach of children.
If you consult our professional dentists at Edge Dental Houston to handle your fluoride treatment for you, we will carefully administer a safe level of fluoride for your whitening treatment.
In the case of a paint-on varnish fluoride treatment (paint-on varnish fluoride treatment will remain on your teeth for about 4 to 6 hours). Please follow these instructions:
- Do not brush or floss.
- Avoid taking any product that contains alcohol.
- Avoid any other over-the-counter fluoride-containing product such as toothpaste, mouthwash, rinses, etc.
- Avoid taking hard or crunchy foods.
- Avoid hot beverages.
However, after the 6 hours of treatment is over, thoroughly brush and floss your teeth. This will help to remove any remaining fluoride from your teeth. You may also resume your normal diet and lifestyle after the 6 hours. More so, for 3 days after the treatment, do not use any prescription fluoride medications.
How Much Is The Cost Of A Fluoride Treatment?
Several factors may affect the cost of fluoride treatment. It is therefore recommended that you ask your dentist about the fluoride treatment cost. However, fluoride treatment cost about $10 to $30.
How Much Fluoride Do You Need?
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), it is recommended that you undergo a professional fluoride treatment every 3, 6, or 12 months, although the frequency of treatment may also depend on your oral health. For instance, if you have a high risk of having dental cavities, your dentist may recommend a special fluoride treatment regularly at home.
The following can increase your likelihood of having dental cavities:
- weak enamel
- dry mouth, or decreased saliva
- poor diet
- lack of professional dental care
- poor oral hygiene
- eating disorder
- excessive drug or alcohol use
Optimal fluoride intake comes from toothpaste, tap water, food, and supplements. Edge Dental Houston recommends the following daily amounts of fluoride:
- Age 0 – 3 years: 0.1 – 5 milligrams
- Age 4 – 6 years: 1 – 2.5 milligrams
- Age 7 – 10 years: 1.5 to 2.5 milligrams
- Adolescents and adults: 1.5 to 4 milligrams
Does Insurance Plan Covers Fluoride Treatment
Fluoride treatment is usually considered as a preventative dental measure for children and is covered by a dental insurance plan. However, for adults, the dental insurance plan may vary. So, it is important that you check with your insurance company to confirm whether you would benefit from the insurance plan or not.
Nevertheless, at Edge Dental Houston, we offer several financing plans and payment options for patients who are not covered by an insurance plan.
What are the benefits of fluoride?
Fluoride helps to restore useful minerals to the surface of the tooth where bacteria may have infected the enamel. Fluoride can also prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and also inhibit dental cavities.
Fluoride is beneficial to both children and adults alike. Exposing children earlier to fluoride will reduce the likelihood of developing dental cavities. Studies show that children and adolescents who were given fluoride treatments for 1 year were 43% less likely to develop dental caries and cavities.
Although fluoride helps to prevent cavities, restores minerals to the enamel, and inhibit the build-up and growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth. Fluoride overdose can be detrimental. It is, therefore, important to take good and proper care of your mouth by:
- Brushing your teeth at least twice daily.
- Flossing at least twice daily.
- Avoiding sugary beverages and snacks.
- Not smoking.
- Visiting a professional dental practitioner at least once a year.
Do you have any further questions about fluoride treatment or want to know more about fluoride treatment aftercare? Kindly visit us today.