Fluoride is a natural mineral that can be found in many kinds of food and also in water. It is an important mineral that keeps tooth decay at bay. Fluoride, also the calcium in our teeth is lost through a process known as demineralisation where the enamel layer of the tooth is attacked by acids (formed from plaque bacteria and sugars) in the food and drinks that we consume and gradually eroding the tooth.
From the food and drinks that we eat or drink, minerals are also replenished in the form of fluoride, calcium and phosphate in a process known as remineralisation.
Fluoride treatments offered by our clinic can help to strengthen the bonding of calcium in our tooth enamel, hence preventing and reversing tooth decay. The fluoride, usually either in the form of a gel, cream or varnish, is spread on your teeth and left there to be absorbed.
Benefits of Fluoride Treatment
Fluoride helps to prevent the tooth from decaying by making the tooth more resistant to acid attack from plaque and sugars. Fluoride is especially important for children under the age of six as it forms the foundation for the development of permanent teeth. Fluoride helps to speed up remineralisation process and also prevents acid from attacking the teeth.
Fluoride can easily be found in most food and water. It may also be directly applied through the use of fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwash. Over-the-counter mouthwash contains lower amounts of fluoride. However, if you require stronger concentrations of fluoride, you would require a dentist’s prescription.
A dentist can also apply fluoride directly to the teeth in the form of a gel, foam or varnish. This method allows for a much higher amount of fluoride to be applied to your teeth than toothpastes and mouthwashes. Fluoride supplements are available in liquid or tablet forms and must be prescribed by the dentist, family doctor or pediatrician.
FAQs on Fluoride Treatment
What is Fluoride Varnish?
Fluoride varnish is a topical fluoride used to prevent tooth decay. Fluoridated toothpaste is another type of topical fluoride. Both are used on the surface of teeth.
How is Fluoride Varnish applied?
A small piece of gauze is used to clean and dry the teeth. The varnish is painted onto the front and back, top and bottom of the teeth with a tiny brush. It forms a sticky covering over the tooth and becomes hard as soon as saliva in the mouth touches it. It takes less than 2 minutes to varnish the teeth.
How does Fluoride Varnish work?
Fluoride in varnish enters the tooth enamel and makes the tooth hard. It prevents new cavities and slows down or stops decay from getting worse. If tooth decay is just starting, it repairs the tooth.
Is Fluoride Varnish safe?
Fluoride varnish is safe. It is used on babies from the time they have their first tooth. Because the varnish is painted onto teeth and only a very small amount is used, almost no fluoride is swallowed.