A lot of people think that fluoride is just for kids. But it can be important for adults, too. Fluoride can help prevent tooth decay at any age. It's especially important if you have diabetes or are at risk for gum disease.
Fluoride is a mineral that's found in many foods and water. It's also added to some toothpaste and mouthwashes. You can get fluoride treatments at the dentist, too.
Why is fluoride important?
Fluorides in dentistry help harden the enamel on your teeth. That's the hard outer coating that protects your teeth from decay. When your enamel is strong, it's less likely to get cavities.
Fluoride also helps reverse early signs of tooth decay. That means it can help repair your teeth before the damage becomes permanent.
If you are thinking to get fluoride application, you should know what is involved, before and after, and also the cost of treatment.
There are two types of fluoride:
Topical fluorides that are professionally applied consist of high-strength fluoride gels, foams, or varnishes. Fluoride gel application is usually administered at the dentist's office during a routine cleaning appointment.
A fluoride treatment is quick and easy. It can be done at your regular dental check-up. Here's what you can expect as part of full mouth fluoride application:
The dentist, will first check your teeth and gum, then, he will make sure you don't have any active cavities or other problems.
If everything looks good, they'll apply a fluoride gel, foam, or varnish to your teeth. This can be done with a brush, swab, or tray.
The gel, foam, or varnish will be left on your teeth for a few minutes. This gives the fluoride time to work.
You may be asked to wait a few hours before eating or drinking. This is to give the fluoride time to soak into your teeth.
After the fluoride has been on your teeth long enough, your dentist will remove it. They'll then give you instructions on how to take care of your teeth at home.
Fluoride treatments are usually recommended for people who are at high risk for cavities. This includes people with: