Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral essential for the process of remineralization that strengthens the enamel layer on teeth and prevents decay. Dentists implement fluoride treatments through special toothpaste, mouth rinses, and dental visits to prevent demineralization of the teeth at a young age.
What is it?
Fluoride treatment is the process of applying fluoride directly onto teeth to prevent tooth decay. The application of fluoride speeds up remineralization of enamel while slowing down the demineralization of the enamel by protecting the teeth from acid attacks, plaque, bacteria, and sugars.
What should I do to prepare?
There is no preparation necessary, but eating before treatment should be considered. The patient is usually told not to drink during the 30 minutes period after the fluoride treatment.
What happens during the process?
There are multiple methods of conducting fluoride treatments. The average person consumes fluoride through a natural source such as water or food. Additionally, dentists use fluoride enriched toothpaste and mouthwashes as a supplementary source. Mouthwashes with even stronger concentrations of fluoride can be prescribed by dentists.
What are the risks and potential complications?
There is little to no risk with fluoride treatment. Fluoride is typically safe, but can be toxic at high doses depending on the patient’s weight. Excess fluoride can cause fluorosis, which is staining of the teeth ranging from white specks to brown discoloration.
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