Fluoride treatment is a common procedure in dentistry, usually applied in the form of a varnish that adheres to the teeth for four to six hours before being removed by brushing. Dental insurance companies often cover fluoride treatments for children, so parents don't have to worry about the cost. Fluoride is naturally present in most water sources, but adding small amounts of it to tap water can be beneficial for those who don't have regular access to a dentist. Professional fluoride treatment is one of the simplest procedures that can be done in a dental office.
It helps reduce the risk of tooth decay, prevents the need for expensive dental procedures, extends the life of primary teeth, and saves time and money for the dentist. As long as it is used as directed by medical and dental professionals, there is minimal risk involved. When visiting a pediatric dentist for fluoride treatment, they will check your child's teeth and administer it using a rinse, varnish, foam, or gel. Fluoride treatments can also make dental cleaning more comfortable for those with sensitive teeth.
Talk to your dental provider during your six-month checkup to determine how often you should receive fluoride treatment. If too much fluoride is ingested (such as if a child swallows a tube of prescription fluoride toothpaste), nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may occur. People who have had an eating disorder, used drugs or alcohol in excess, have poor oral hygiene, dry mouth, weak enamel, or haven't received professional dental care in the past may need fluoride treatment more often. Studies have found that people with fluoridated water are 40 to 60 percent less likely to have tooth decay than before fluoride was added to toothpaste.