Fluoride treatment is an easy and pain-free way for children and adults to help prevent cavities. Our teeth are in a constant process of demineralization (loss of minerals) or remineralization (gaining minerals), and when these processes do not balance each other out, the demineralization can result in increased susceptibility to cavities. Fluoride treatments help speed up the remineralization process for optimal enamel (tooth) health and lower the risk of cavities.
The fluoride used in a dentist's office is much stronger than the fluoride in toothpaste or mouthwash you buy from the store or pharmacy. Typically, it is applied with a cotton swab or brush, or it is used as a rinse and held in the mouth for several minutes. After treatment, do not eat or drink for at least 30 minutes to allow the fluoride to be absorbed by the teeth.
Depending on your oral health and the oral health plan developed by you and your dentist, a fluoride treatment may be recommended every three, six or twelve months. This treatment lowers your risk of cavities.
Fluoride treatment is also used to treat tooth sensitivity to strengthen the tooth enamel and decrease sensitivity to hot and cold drinks, sweet foods, or brushing and flossing. Tooth sensitivity is very common. If this is something that affects you, ask your dentist or hygienist about toothpaste made specifically for sensitive teeth in addition to fluoride treatment.