Fluoride TreatmentAt Portland Children's Dentistry, we recommend professional fluoride treatments for children and adolescents. Fluoride can be applied as a gel, foam, or varnish.
What is fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that can prevent tooth decay and strengthen teeth. Trace amounts can be found naturally in some foods and water sources, as well as in toothpaste and mouth rinses.
What is fluoride varnish?
Fluoride varnish is a simple, inexpensive, and effective form of topical treatment. Varnish has a higher concentration of fluoride than other treatments. The varnish is painted directly onto the tooth using a small brush. When it is applied it becomes sticky and stays in direct contact with the outer layer of the teeth (the enamel), causing the enamel to become stronger and more resistant to decay.
Why does my child need fluoride varnish treatment? Enamel loses and gains minerals through daily processes known as demineralization and remineralization. Demineralization is caused by the acid created by bacteria found in dental plaque that forms on your teeth. Decay occurs if your enamel loses too many minerals. Remineralization helps to rebuild and strengthen your enamel. When fluoride is present during remineralization, the fluoride is incorporated into the enamel, making it more resistant to decay. In some cases, fluoride can even slow down or reverse very small cavities.
How often should my child receive fluoride treatment?
In most cases, we recommend children receive a professional application of fluoride twice a year during regular visits. This may change based on the child’s individual cavity risk.
How is fluoride applied to my child's teeth?
Before a professional fluoride treatment, your child’s teeth should be clean. The varnish is applied quickly with a small brush. Children can drink water shortly after the application. The whole procedure is quick and completely painless. With proper application, the varnish should remain on the teeth for several hours.
Should my kids be getting fluoride at home?
At Portland Children's Dentistry we appreciate and understand that fluoride is not for everyone. The recommendations that we make for homecare are based on each child’s cavity risk assessment.
There are a number of delivery mechanisms for fluoride that we discuss. These include toothpaste, mouthrinse, and systemic supplements. We can discuss each of these options and make recommendations based on your child’s cavity risk, age, and parent preferences.
What if I still have questions about fluoride?
If you would like to learn more about fluoride treatment or to schedule an appointment, call us today at (503) 477-7130. We would be more than happy to answer any questions or concerns you have about fluoride!