Periodic Fluoride Treatments

Tooth decay is considered the only common chronic childhood disease, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. More than half of the children between the ages of 5 to 9 have at least one cavity or filling. The ratio increases to 78% among 17-year olds. In addition to it, studies suggest close to 51 million school hours are lost due to dental-related illness. 

Periodic fluoride treatment is integral in preventive care, and it offers an additional level of protection against tooth decay. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral. It helps prevent cavities by making the rough outer enamel of the teeth increasingly resistant to the acids produced by the bacteria within the dental plaque or tartar. As a result, the decay can be reversed with the help of fluoride treatment which can remineralize the teeth. 

At the time of regular dental checkups, the dentist may recommend fluoride treatment to strengthen not only the baby teeth of a child but also the permanent teeth. It may be applied as a gel or foam by the dentist. The whole process is painless and quick. The dentist will first perform dental cleaning before applying the fluoride to the surfaces of the teeth. It is also placed in a small tray that will then be kept over the teeth for some time. It would help if you did not eat or drink anything for 30 minutes so that the fluoride is absorbed effectively into the surfaces of the teeth. The dentist will brief the patient on specific and detailed instructions as needed. Fluoride treatments may also be applied to adults if they are at a higher risk of tooth decay.

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