Modern dentistry has shifted toward the value of prevention. At Queen Anne Family Dental, we offer multiple preventive services and education to keep you and your family's oral health in pristine condition. One service we offer our patients are fluoride treatments. Fluoride is an important part of any child’s tooth development and continues to keep your enamel strong throughout adulthood.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a natural mineral that can be found in water and a wide variety of foods. It is also an important mineral that makes up the hard outer layer of our teeth, known as the enamel. Though our teeth appear smooth, if you were to look at a tooth under a microscope, you would see that it is composed of mashed shards. Each day, as we naturally use our teeth for chewing, we lose some of these shards, this is known as demineralization. Additionally, our enamel is weakened, or loses shards, by the acid producing bacteria that is found in plaque. As we brush with fluoridated toothpaste, drink water, and consume foods that contain fluoride, the teeth remineralize.
Unfortunately, for many, the rate or demineralization can exceed remineralization, resulting in tooth decay and cavities. When we note that the enamel is thin, or has spots that can use assistance, we can offer a fluoride treatment. This is a prescribed treatment option that is applied in a controlled way. Fluoride treatments boost remineralization, strengthening the enamel layer and can then assist in preventing tooth decay. Fluoride can even reverse minor spots of decay.
Who Needs a Fluoride Treatment?
We may recommend a fluoride treatment as part of your preventive care during your dental checkup. Fluoride treatments are a helpful tool for many of our patients including:
|Children and Adolescent: Our young patients are growing their permanent teeth. We want to help them grow strong teeth and keep them strong. Fluoride can assist in strengthening teeth as they grow, and continue to remineralize teeth once they are in place.
|At Risk for Tooth Decay: Patients of all ages may be more susceptible to tooth decay for a variety of reasons. This may include undergoing medical treatment, taking certain medications that limit saliva production, or have limitations that make appropriate dental care more difficult.
|Water Supply Lacks Fluoride: Most city water facilities now include fluoride in their drinking water, but not all. Your area, especially if you consume well water, may not have the fluoride additive.
|Thin Enamel: Some patients may simply have thin spots in their enamel, or areas that we see could benefit from treatment.
Fluoride Treatment Application
A fluoride treatment is a simple in-office step that is usually completed as a part of a routine exam and professional cleaning when needed. We apply the fluoride directly to the enamel as a varnish, rinse or gel. The application is painless, often with a brush, cotton swab, or tray depending on the form. The application remains on your teeth for a few minutes and that’s it.. We will ask that you not rinse, eat, or drink anything for at least 30 minutes. This allows the enamel to properly absorb the fluoride and repair microscopic decay.
Fluoride treatments can be applied every three, six, or 12 months depending on you or your family's oral health. We may also recommend other preventative services like the application of dental sealants.
Schedule An Appointment
If you would like to schedule an appointment for you or your family, please call (206) 424-4450 now!