What Is Topical Fluoride ?
Fluoride, a mineral, is naturally found in water and various kind of foods. Topical fluoride is an active ingredient present in many dental products such as toothpaste, mouthwash, gels and varnishes. It has been an essential oral health treatment for many years and has been proven safe and effective.
When acids attack the enamel (outer protective) layer of the tooth in the food and drinks we consume, the loss of minerals from tooth enamel over time is known as demineralization.
Topical fluoride in a dental clinic encourages remineralization by strengthening the bonding of calcium in our tooth enamel. This treatment gives rise to a more acid-resistant enamel surface of the teeth, preventing and even reversing tooth decay.
Topical fluoride treatment is beneficial if you are at high risk of developing cavities.
What Happens During A Professional Fluoride Treatment ?
Dentists provide professional topical fluoride treatments in the form of a gel or varnish. These treatments have a much higher concentration of fluoride than the amount found in toothpaste or mouth rinses. A dentist usually applies fluoride gel treatment via a fluoride tray after a routine Scaling and Polishing. When a tooth or a specific area of the teeth is experiencing sensitivity or demineralisation, the dentist will use the Duraphat(varnish) instead. The fluoride varnish is painted directly onto the front and back, top and bottom of the tooth with a tiny brush. It forms a thin and hard covering over the tooth to prevent new cavities and slow down or stop decay from getting worse. Avoid eating or drinking for thirty minutes after the treatment so that the fluoride can be absorbed into the enamel.
Fluoride supplements are also available as liquid and tablets prescribed by a dentist, paediatrician or family doctor.
Should I Get Fluoride Treatment ?
In most cases, drinking plenty of water and brushing your teeth thoroughly twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste can prevent tooth decay. For patients who may be a risk of developing tooth decay, fluoride treatments can provide extra benefits. Dentists recommend patients at moderate risk of caries to get topical fluoride treatment once a year and twice a year for high-risk caries patients.
You should always provide your dentist with your full medical history so that they can suggest the best treatment plan for you.
What Are The Benefits Of Topical Fluoride Treatment ?
Topical fluoride treatment helps to restore minerals to tooth surfaces where bacteria may have eroded the tooth enamel. It stops the decay from penetrating deeper into the teeth and further prevent cavities. Fluoride treatment also creates stronger teeth surface by making the teeth more resistant to acid attack from plaque and sugars in the mouth.
In addition to fighting tooth decay and cavities, topical fluoride treatment also reduces tooth sensitivity. It alleviates the sensitive tooth's discomfort by forming a protective barrier to protect the tooth enamel when exposed to cold food, drinks or air.
Consult our dentists to assess if you require topical fluoride treatment!