What are the Benefits of Tooth Fluoride?
First, it’s important to know that fluoride is a natural mineral that’s absorbed by your teeth and makes them more resistant to acid. Your mouth contains bacteria that feeds on sugar (creating acid as a byproduct). Fluoride varnish is applied to teeth to protect them from acid, bacteria, and aid in the prevention of cavities.
How is Fluoride Applied?
Fluoride varnish treatment is a quick and painless procedure. Dental fluoride varnish is painted on all parts of the teeth and quickly hardens after saliva touches it. You may eat and drink right away but try to avoid crunchy foods or hot beverages as they may remove the varnish. After the varnish is applied, the teeth will feel a bit sticky or rough, but this feeling will go away after you brush your teeth. Avoid brushing for at least 4-6 hour as you want the fluoride varnish treatment to stay on your teeth as long as possible.
Who Should Have Fluoride Treatments?
Typically, fluoride varnish treatments are recommended for children, but adults may receive this cavity preventing treatment as well.
How Often Should I have Fluoride Applications?
For children, a dentist or pediatrician may recommend fluoride varnish treatment as soon as the first teeth erupt. Fluoride varnish will be applied 2-4 times per year based on the child’s risk of developing tooth decay. Fluoride varnish for adults may be recommended if the risk of cavities is determined to be high, if the patient already has “starter cavities,” or if acid levels are higher in the mouth for other reasons such as acid reflux.
Is Fluoride Varnish Treatment Safe?
Our team of excellent dental professionals is here to bring out your best smile. If you have any more questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please reach out to us.
Dr. Ross Toigo is a general dentist at our Old Sauk Clinic and a native of Minocqua, Wisconsin. Dr. Ross completed his undergraduate degree right here at UW-Madison and then continued his studies at Marquette University School of Dentistry in Milwaukee. Throughout dental school and in the years following he became actively involved with the Mission of Mercy to provide treatment for disadvantaged individuals in Wisconsin. MORE ABOUT DR. TOIGO.