What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a natural element often found in water and certain foods such as meat, eggs, tea, and fish.  Fluoride is beneficial as it strengthens teeth and prevents tooth decay.  Today with filtered and bottled water, it is important that we provide our children with fluoride treatment to help their teeth.  Our fluoride treatment is provided at the end of a child’s dental exam and cleaning in the form of foam.  A tray of the fluoride foam is placed in the child’s mouth for a short amount of time.  Home and/or professional fluoride treatment may be suggested for: 

  • Deep pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces of teeth. 
  • Exposed and sensitive root surfaces. 
  • Fair to poor oral hygiene habits. 
  • Frequent sugar and carbohydrate intake. 
  • Inadequate exposure to fluorides. 
  • Inadequate saliva flow due to medical conditions, medical treatments, or medications. 
  • Recent history of dental decay 

It is important to continue to encourage good oral hygiene (brushing at least twice a day, flossing, balanced meal, decrease sugar intake, and regular dental visits) to keep your child’s teeth healthy.  Fluoride helps strengthen teeth and prevents decay but is not effective with poor home oral care.  

Fluoride Treatments

Fluoride is put on the teeth as part of a fluoride treatment. The in-office fluoride treatment is easy, doesn’t hurt, and doesn’t take long. Fluoride is put directly on the teeth in the form of varnish, gel, or foam. This can be done by wearing a mouth guard filled with the foam or gel or by having varnish painted directly on your teeth.

When should fluoride be given to kids?

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that all children should get fluoride treatment as soon as their first tooth comes out to prevent tooth decay and dental infections in the future. There are several fluorides that can be put on the skin, but the varnish is the best choice for kids.

Dentists put small amounts of varnish on a child’s teeth to make it less likely that the child will swallow it. The fluoride treatment should be done at least twice to four times a year, depending on how at-risk your child is.


Fluoride Treatments FAQ’s

Who needs to be treated with fluoride?

If you are at a moderate to high risk for cavities, Drs. Bouali, Johal, Ganglani, and Dunning may suggest that a dental fluoride treatment be part of your regular dental plan. In the same way, you may be more likely to get tooth decay if you have a history of fillings, gum disease, sensitive teeth, or a number of other conditions. Regular fluoride treatments can help you keep a healthy, white smile.

Can you have a fluoride deficiency? Can you have a fluoride overdose?

If you don’t get enough fluoride, you may have a fluoride deficiency, which can make your bones and teeth weaker and give you more cavities. Fluoride overdose is very rare, but it can happen if you take more than the recommended amount. Pain in the stomach, headaches, and feeling weak are all signs of an overdose. If you think you have taken too much of a drug, call poison control right away.

Do fluoride treatments you do at home work?

Toothpaste and mouthwash with fluoride can be used as fluoride treatments at home. But the amount of fluoride in these products is much lower and doesn’t work as well as it does in in-office treatments.

Img 6780