Fluoride Treatment Puyallup WA
While adults know to expect fluoride treatments to be one of the last things done at a dental cleaning, our younger patients may not fully understand what fluoride is or why it is being applied to their teeth.
The team here at Puyallup Pediatric Dentistry is very happy to explain to your child what fluoride is if they ask.
As with everything we do at our Puyallup office, a fluoride treatment is done to help protect the teeth from cavities and improve your child's overall oral health.
What Is Fluoride Treatment?
Fluoride is a mineral that is vital to your child's oral health. It is naturally found in water and many foods. However, most patients do not get enough fluoride naturally and need to supplement with additional fluoride treatments. Without the proper amount of fluoride, your child is at a greater risk of decay and gum disease.
Importance of Fluoride Treatment for Children
A fluoride treatment, also known as a fluoride varnish, is a method of boosting a tooth's ability to prevent and repair tooth decay. This works because of the key active ingredient, fluoride.
With the spread of sugary foods and drinks, fighting cavities is more important than ever. Sticky, sugary substances can get stuck to the teeth and stay there for hours until they are brushed away, causing extensive decay of the enamel. The mineral levels of fluoride help combat this by supporting enamel in rebuilding itself faster.
Promotes Strong and Healthy Teeth
Fluoride reinforces the enamel on your teeth. We get fluoride in our drinking water, and your child will also receive fluoride from their toothpaste if you are using one that has the American Dental Association's official seal of recommendation.
Often, though, this fluoride is not enough to help keep children's enamel strong, and so fluoride treatments are recommended to supplement how much they receive.
Prevents Tooth Decay and Cavities
Fluoride is a major part of how we prevent cavities in today's children. It can even accelerate the rebuilding of tooth enamel, which has high mineral content. With fluoride treatments, your child is getting one more powerful defense against cavities that will help keep their teeth strong for years to come.
Reverses Early Stages of Tooth Decay
Fluoride helps to protect your child's teeth from acid and plaque. It can even help reverse early gum disease and decay. Fluoride is added to the enamel of your child's teeth when the saliva contacts it. The enamel is strengthened and can repair minor damage caused by acidic food and drink.
Safe and Effective
Fluoride is incredibly safe, and its record is backed up by decades of incident-free usage all over the world, as well as dozens of peer-reviewed studies. It is approved by the FDA and the ADA for use with children of all ages. If you are concerned about fluoride or have questions about how we use it, we are more than happy to discuss in detail with you why we believe in fluoride so strongly.
Benefits of Fluoride Treatment
Enhanced Enamel Strength
A fluoride treatment every six months can ensure that your child's enamel has everything it needs to be strong and stay strong. Fluoride should always be paired with your child's normal dental hygiene routine. While fluoride gives enamel a boost, it is still critical to clean off bacteria by brushing and flossing.
Fluoride treatments can also help with tooth sensitivity. Since fluoride rehardens your tooth enamel, it can also help with tooth sensitivity, and preventing cavities and other issues such as gum disease.
We recommend that most children receive fluoride treatments once every six months, at the same time as their recommended cleanings. More frequent treatments may be necessary for children with a high risk of cavity formation.
It is important to remember that fluoride on its own is not enough to protect teeth. Fluoride supplements other necessary oral hygiene practices, and you should never substitute fluoride treatments for daily brushing and flossing.
Fluoride Treatment FAQ's
Is Fluoride Treatment Painful?
Using a miniature brush, we paint fluoride varnish on the exterior of every tooth. There is no discomfort - only a mild taste which many children actually like. It may feel sticky and leave a slight yellow discoloration, but both of these will quickly fade.
Afterward, avoid brushing your child's teeth for a minimum of four hours so the fluoride has time to be absorbed. We will give you specific aftercare instructions.
Can Children Undergo Fluoride Treatment if They Have Braces?
Having braces with brackets, wires, and bands, can make it even more challenging for kids to brush their teeth. Fluoride treatment can be used during orthodontic treatment to help strengthen their teeth.
How Long Does a Fluoride Treatment Session Take?
If recommended by our professionals, your child should receive a fluoride treatment during every visit.
They should be coming to see us every six months for a professional cleaning and exam. The fluoride is applied at the very end of your child's visit in the form of a gel or paste.
A fluoride treatment is one of the easiest and simplest services that we provide, and takes no more than a couple of minutes. The most common method is to put the fluoride into dental trays, which are then placed over your child's teeth.
When Should My Child Start Fluoride Treatment?
Your child's smile is still growing, so it is crucial that during this critical stage their teeth are protected from bacteria and cavities. To best protect their teeth, Puyallup Pediatric Dentistry recommends that all children receive fluoride treatments as part of their routine cleanings.
If your child is less than six years old, fluoride has another important role, the development of their adult teeth. A lack of adequate fluoride can result in your child's permanent teeth being underdeveloped.
What Can My Child Eat After Fluoride Treatment?
After the treatment is done, your child should not eat or drink anything for 30 minutes to give the fluoride enough time to seep into the enamel. They can then resume eating and drinking as usual. However, if their mouth or teeth are feeling sensitive, they can opt for soft foods.
Schedule a Fluoride Treatment with Your Puyallup Dentist Today!
Give us a call today at (253) 864-9889 to schedule your child's cleaning, exam and fluoride treatment!