Fluoride is a mineral that naturally occurs in water and certain foods and is added to toothpaste. This element helps to strengthen the teeth and bones and is extremely beneficial for children as their teeth develop. Cities and communities that have fluoride added to their water supply tend to have less incidence of cavities among their residents. Fluoride has been shown to help prevent tooth decay, a fact supported by a number of professional organizations, including the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Medical Association (AMA), and the World Health Organization (WHO). At Atlas Walk Dental & Orthodontics, general dentists Dr. Najib Adi recommends professional fluoride treatments for children of all ages, teens, and adults who are at a higher risk for developing tooth decay. Our team is happy to provide more information on the benefits of fluoride during your appointment at our Gainesville, VA practice.
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Patients of all ages can receive fluoride treatments. However, fluoride is typically given to children and teens to help protect their teeth during the oral developmental stages. Dr. Adi may also recommend fluoride for patients wearing braces, those who have a history of decay or who are at a higher risk, and patients who do not have access to fluoridated drinking water. Older patients who have exposed root surfaces due to gum recession may also be ideal candidates for fluoride treatments. In some cases, fluoride can help re-mineralize very small areas of decay (incipient) and prevent the need for a filling. Our team utilizes a range of fluoride delivery techniques and formulas based on your family’s specific needs. We also offer a different flavors to make receiving fluoride more enjoyable for our patients.
What to Expect
Fluoride treatments are typically given once or twice per year, at your child’s biannual cleaning and check-up visits. We determine the best type of fluoride to use based on the age of your child and their specific cavity prevention needs. Fluoride varnish is easily painted onto the teeth, after which the mouth can be rinsed immediately. Fluoride rinses are swished in the mouth for up to two minutes, while foam fluoride delivered in mouth trays must stay in contact with the teeth for up to four minutes. Once the fluoride treatment is complete, we will use suction to clear out your child’s mouth. Our team will provide instructions on when your child can eat or drink following the use of fluoride.
If your child receives fluoride varnish, they can typically eat or drink right away but should avoid eating crunchy or sticky foods for the next several hours. The use of fluoride rinses and foam requires that your child avoid eating or drinking for 30 minutes following treatment. Dr. Adi or a member of the Atlas Walk team may recommend a prescription fluoridated toothpaste or fluoride supplements for use at home if your child is at a higher risk for cavities or has active decay. Though fluoride helps to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay, it still very important that your child maintains good brushing and flossing habits daily at home. During your child’s six-month cleaning and exam visits, Dr. Adi and team will continue to assess the need for fluoride treatments.
Fluoride treatments for children are covered by most dental insurance plans. However, fluoride may not be a covered benefit for adults. Our team will review your benefits schedule and determine the coverage and frequency amount for your family’s fluoride treatments. At Atlas Walk Dental & Orthodontics, we want your family to have the treatment you need and will work with you to make your care affordable. We accept several convenient methods of payment, including third-party patient financing.
Professional fluoride treatments can help your family enjoy healthy, happy smiles over the long-term. Fluoride treatments help to strengthen tooth structure and can minimize the need for future dental treatments. For more information on how fluoride can benefit your family’s oral health, schedule a visit for a dental cleaning and exam at our Gainesville, VA practice.