Our teeth loses minerals everyday when acids produced by plaque and sugars in our mouth attack the enamel layers of our teeth. This process is called demineralization. When demineralization occurs, our teeth weakens and makes it more prone to developing cavities or tooth decay. Luckily, minerals found in our food and water such as fluoride, calcium and phosphate are able to help protect and remineralize our teeth. Fluoride from other sources such as toothpastes and mouthwashes also helps remineralize our teeth.
Fluoride can make our teeth healthier and stronger and more resistant to dental cavities. It also helps reduce teeth sensitivity.
Too much fluoride can cause white patches (fluorosis) on your teeth.
Daily fluoride treatment can be in the form of toothpastes or mouth rinses, however, these types have low fluoride content. For a more specific treatment with a higher concentration of fluoride, one must look into professional fluoride application. Professionally-applied fluoride can be in the form of gels or varnish.
The fluoride gel is usually placed in a foam tray, just enough to cover all the teeth in the arches. The teeth are dried with a few blasts of air then the fluoride tray is inserted into the patient’s mouth. The patient is asked to bite the tray to keep it stable and is kept in the mouth for 1 to 3 minutes.
When the tray is removed, the patient is asked to spit out the remaining fluoride gel from the mouth. The patient is also advised not to eat, drink, or rinse for 30 minutes to maximize the absorption of fluoride into the teeth.
Fluoride treatment prevents cavity up to 4 months with good oral hygiene.
Patient should not rinse, eat, smoke or drink for at least 30 minutes after fluoride application.
WRITTEN BY: DR. RICHELLE RAMIREZ
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