protect your teeth from cavities
what are fluoride treatments?
A fluoride treatment is when the dentist applies fluoride varnish to your teeth at the end of a dental cleaning to protect your teeth from cavities and tooth decay. Patients can drink fluoridated water and use toothpaste and mouthwash that contain fluoride but a varnish treatment contains much higher concentrations of fluoride for more significant protection. To schedule a fluoride treatment at Villa Park Pediatric Dentistry, contact us to book an appointment with Dr. Leslie Butler.
reduce the risk of decay
how does fluoride work?
Tooth decay and cavities occur when bacteria in the mouth feed off of sugars that have been left behind from inadequate brushing or flossing. The bacteria then transforms those sugars into acids which attack the tooth’s enamel and cause enamel erosion. Over time, this enamel erosion will lead to holes in the teeth, known as cavities.
Fluoride reduces the risk of getting cavities and tooth decay by restoring minerals to the tooth’s enamel that have been destroyed by these acids as well as preventing harmful bacteria that form the acids in the first place. Fluoride treatments strengthen your teeth by replenishing nutrients to the enamel and making them more resistant to acid attacks.
Fluoride can even reverse early-stage tooth decay. It is particularly important to have adequate fluoride intake from the ages of 6-16 because these are the ages when children and adolescents are receiving their deciduous and primary teeth and fluoride significantly reduces their risk of developing cavities.
what to expect
the fluoride treatment process
At Villa Park Pediatric Dentistry, we will dry your child’s teeth with clean gauze before painting a fluoride varnish onto them. The varnish is applied to all surfaces of their teeth and they will be asked to avoid eating anything for the next 30 minutes. The whole process only takes a few minutes and is usually the final step of routine dental cleanings.
Fluoride treatments should be repeated every 6-12 months. Patients with a high risk of tooth decay should consider using fluoride at home in toothpaste and mouthwashes or regularly drinking fluoridated water.
quick and minimally invasive
are fluoride treatments safe?
Fluoride treatments are completely safe which is why they are universally used among dental practices all over the country to protect the teeth from decay after a dental cleaning. The most common side effect of fluoride treatment is yellowing of the teeth from certain brands or if excess fluoride is applied to the teeth.
This is temporary and the teeth will return to their normal color as soon as you brush your teeth later in the day. Rarely, fluoride treatments can cause an allergic reaction in patients who have a fluoride allergy. It is important to discuss any allergies you have with your dentist before receiving a fluoride treatment.
Dentists and dental hygienists are fully trained to properly administer the right amount of fluoride to patients to protect teeth from decay and prevent any side effects. The fluoride is ultimately brushed off a few hours later but protects the teeth by being absorbed into the enamel through saliva.
We highly recommend fluoride treatments because they are associated with very minimal risk and offer significant protection against tooth decay at a low cost. The procedure is very quick and minimally invasive. Even children with dental anxiety are great candidates for fluoride treatments because of how simple and painless it is.