Fluoride Treatment

What happens during a professional fluoride treatment?

Dentists provide professional fluoride treatments in the form of a highly concentrated rinse, foam, gel, or varnish. The treatment may be applied with a swab, brush, tray, or mouthwash.

These treatments have much more fluoride than what’s in your water or toothpaste. They only take a few minutes to apply. You may be asked to avoid eating or drinking for 30 minutes after the treatment so the fluoride can fully absorb.

Always give your dentist your full health history so they can choose the right treatments for you.

How much fluoride do you need?

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends a professional fluoride treatment at your dentist’s office every 3, 6, or 12 months, depending on your oral health. If you’re at high risk for cavities, your dentist may also prescribe a special fluoride rinse or gel to use regularly at home.

The following can increase your risk of cavities:

  • excessive drug or alcohol use

  • eating disorder

  • poor oral hygiene

  • lack of professional dental care

  • poor diet

  • dry mouth, or decreased saliva

  • weak enamel

Common sources of dietary fluoride include:

  • tea

  • water

  • food cooked in water

  • fish eaten with their bones

  • infant formula 

Optimal fluoride intake comes from food, water, and supplements. The Mayo Clinic states the following recommended daily amounts of fluoride: 

  • Birth to 3 years of age: 0.1 to 1.5 milligrams (mg)

  • 4 to 6 years of age: 1 to 2.5 mg

  • 7 to 10 years of age: 1.5 to 2.5 mg

  • Adolescents and adults: 1.5 to 4 mg

Fluoride for children

If your child is under 3 years old, they should only brush their teeth with close supervision. Apply only a thin layer of fluoride toothpaste to their toothbrush. The toothpaste should cover less than half of the bristles or be no bigger than a grain of rice. 

Fluoride toothpaste the size of a pea is recommended for children ages 3 to 6 years old. You should watch children to ensure they spit toothpaste out while brushing.

What are the benefits of fluoride?

Fluoride works by restoring minerals to tooth surfaces where bacteria may have eroded the enamel. It can also inhibit the growth of harmful oral bacteria and further prevent cavities. 

Fluoride benefits both children and adults. The earlier children are exposed to fluoride, the less likely they are to develop cavities. 

How does fluoride help?

Fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral, is found in different sources such as water, food, toothpaste, and mouth rinses. Using fluoride regularly can help strengthen your teeth. Every day our teeth lose minerals like calcium and phosphate, which can make the enamel weaker. Fluoride helps with the re-absorption of these minerals and also prevents decay. In some cases, fluoride can reverse mild dental decay.

How many times do you need to get a fluoride treatment?

The ADA recommends getting the in-office fluoride treatment every three, six, or 12 months depending on your dental health. If you are at risk of dental cavities, then having frequent treatments may be recommended.

What are other ways to prevent cavities?

Proper hygiene is essential for you and your children. Ensure you brush twice daily and use an antibacterial mouth rinse. Also, visit Pax Dental, for your routine dental checkup, and our fluoride treatment dentist will assess and treat your teeth.