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Fluoride Dental Treatment

Fluoride treatments are commonly used in dental practice for both children and adults. Fluoride is a mineral that helps prevent tooth decay, and it is found in many oral care products including toothpastes and mouth rinses. Fluoride treatments given by a dentist use a higher concentration of fluoride than that available in consumer products, and this maximizes the patient's long-term protection against tooth decay. To administer a professional fluoride treatment, the dentist fills a disposable plastic tray with a fluoridated foam or gel substance. The trays are shaped to fit the entire upper and lower arches of the teeth. Most often, a single tray at a time is placed on the patient's upper or lower teeth for approximately one to four minutes. Fluoride varnish can be applied with swabs instead if trays are uncomfortable for the patient. After receiving the treatment, patients should avoid eating or drinking for at least 30 minutes. Fluoride treatments are appropriate for anyone at a moderate to increased risk of cavities. Depending on individual circumstances, a dentist may recommend that patients have professional fluoride treatments as often as every three to six months. Patients at a low risk of cavities may be advised to receive these treatments on a yearly basis.

Benefits of Fluoride
Fluoride strengthens the enamel of the teeth, helping them remain resistant to the acids and sugars from everyday foods. The mineral attacks bacteria in the mouth, reducing the formation of the plaque that leads to cavity formation. Scientific evidence of the benefits of fluoride has been so encouraging that governments routinely recommend adding it to the water supply in many cities around the world. Prior to the availability of fluoridated toothpaste, studies demonstrated that fluoridated water reduced the development of cavities in the general population by as much as 60 percent. Consuming fluoride in the form of mouthwashes or toothpastes helps to neutralize any acid left on the teeth from food and drink, and professional treatments provide increased protection. Cavities that are at early stages can sometimes be reversed through the regular application of fluoride to the teeth.

At our dental centre in South Ottawa, our experienced staff provides professional fluoride treatment on a daily basis, and we can also advise all patients on the most appropriate at-home fluoride products for their oral health. Professional fluoride treatments are typically given at routine visits after the teeth have been cleaned by a dental hygienist. This practice ensures that no plaque is left on the teeth prior to the fluoride application and allows the tooth to soak up the maximum amount of this beneficial mineral. Studies of children and adolescents have shown that yearly professional fluoride treatments reduce the development of cavities in this patient population by 43 percent. The treatments are beneficial even for children who do not yet have permanent teeth.

Who is a Good Candidate for Fluoride Treatment?
Fluoride is particularly helpful in reducing acid levels in the mouth that can soften the tooth's surface and lead to decay. Children and adults who struggle with acid erosion of the teeth or who have braces or other orthodontic appliances are especially vulnerable to acids in their diets. Individuals undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatments are at an above-average risk of both enamel erosion and decay. Patients struggling with eating disorders, those with dental fillings or untreated cavities, and those who experience dry mouth are also at increased risk of oral health issues. Consumer-grade fluoride products may not provide enough protection against acid, bacteria, and decay for these individuals. Regularly administered professional fluoride treatments and use of prescription toothpastes and fluoride supplements are essential in helping these high-risk patients reduce both the amount of enamel erosion and the number of cavities they develop.

If you are concerned about any aspect of your oral health, our friendly team of dentists and hygienists at the Upper Hunt Dental Centre can advise you about the latest treatment options that may be beneficial for you. Our dental centre in South Ottawa provides care for both children and adults. Contact us today to book and appointment to help you and your family achieve optimal oral health.

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