Many people know that fluoride is a common ingredient in toothpastes. It is also available in some mouthwashes and gels. What you may not know is that topical fluoride is also available as a professional dental treatment.
A professional fluoride application differs from applying fluoride at home via toothpaste or mouthwash in some important ways. This blog will highlight the benefits of fluoride and also the superior advantages of a professional fluoride application.
Medical and dental professionals have known for decades that fluoride has the power to fight cavities. The CDC calls fluoride “one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century”. Consistent professional fluoride applications can drastically lower someone’s risk for cavities.
Many patients find it frustrating to get new cavities every year. By adding a professional fluoride application to their dental cleanings, they can reduce the chance of developing new cavities.
Fluoride causes your teeth to take up important minerals like calcium and phosphate, which strengthens the enamel. Also, teeth incorporate fluoride into their complex structure, and the new structure (called fluoro-apatite) is more resistant to attacks from acid.
Stronger enamel means fewer cavities, less acid erosion, and better teeth for the rest of your life!
A fluoride varnish contains a high concentration of fluoride, so it is a power boost of good vitamins for your teeth. This high concentration is completely safe because the stickiness keeps it from being swallowed. The higher concentration of fluoride contained in a varnish is more effective than other types of fluoride treatments at fighting cavities, as shown in scientific research.
The most common professional use of fluoride is a varnish, which is a very sticky substance that your dentist or dental hygienist paints onto the teeth. The stickiness of a fluoride varnish offers several advantages. It keeps the fluoride on the teeth where it belongs and prevents it from being swallowed. It also keeps the fluoride in contact with the teeth for a longer period of time, increasing its effectiveness.
A fluoride varnish also has the advantage of sustained release. Many brands show continuous fluoride release more than 24 hours after application. This prolonged exposure to the teeth allows fluoride to have a greater effect at strengthening the enamel and fighting cavities.
This is a huge advantage over the fluoride available in over-the-counter products like toothpastes and mouthwashes, as well as older forms of professional fluoride like gels or foams. These modes of fluoride only “work” when they are in direct contact with the teeth. This is why prior versions of professional fluoride applications involved your holding a styrofoam tray with gel or foam in your mouth for up to two minutes. Fluoride varnish goes on in less than 20 seconds, and it stays on for hours!
We hear from many of our patients that their professional teeth cleanings are uncomfortable, even painful, due to teeth sensitivity. They cringe at the thought of the cold air and water used by our dental hygienists during the procedure.
A professional fluoride application can make your teeth cleanings much more comfortable!
Fluoride varnish applications given on a consistent schedule show a scientifically proven improvement in teeth sensitivity. If you are one of those patients who is uncomfortable during a teeth cleaning, ask your dental hygienist about a fluoride varnish application. At Premier Dental of Ohio, our goal is for every single patient to be as comfortable as possible throughout any dental procedure!
Braces are wonderful for creating beautiful smiles! They are also great at collecting plaque and bacteria, which is not a good thing. It increases your risk for cavities, gum disease, and acid damage to the teeth.
Professional fluoride applications lower the risk for cavities that comes with braces!
Have you ever noticed people with small white spots or circles that look like an outline around a bracket? Those white lines or spots are caused by acid in plaque that sits against the bracket. Professional fluoride applications can prevent these!
If you or a loved one are currently in braces, ask your dentist or dental hygienist about professional fluoride applications. Consistent fluoride varnish treatments during orthodontic treatment lead to more beautiful smiles at the end of treatment.
Whether you have a high risk for cavities or sensitive teeth, professional fluoride applications can make a huge difference in the health of your mouth! Ask your Premier dentist or dental hygienist about the specific benefits of fluoride varnish for YOU.