Applying fluoride to the surfaces of your teeth is an excellent way to strengthen tooth enamel. The minerals inside of fluoride help restore necessary crystals in the pores of the tooth. It can also be used to block sensitivity, reverse enamel demineralization (early tooth decay) and fight cavities.
One of the most efficient ways to achieve the best fluoride absorption is by having a professional strength varnish applied after your dental cleaning. Varnish is different than gel forms of fluoride. The texture of the varnish permits it to cling to the enamel’s surface for hours after the application. To apply the varnish, the hygienist or assistant gently brushes it across the surfaces of clean, dried teeth. You’ll feel a slightly sticky texture, but the material isn’t visible when you talk or smile. Varnish is so effective, that it can delay the need for treating areas in the very beginning stages of tooth decay. For patients with severe sensitivity, varnish may be more effective than over the counter sensitivity products. Some patients report instant decreased sensitivity that lasts as long as 3 months after the application.
Most dental insurance plans will cover professional fluoride treatment on children, and some adults. If it’s not covered, patients find the minimal cost of the procedure to be well worth the investment! If you’ve experienced a history of frequent cavities, gum recession, tooth sensitivity, wear braces, or have a child whose adult teeth are still developing, then it’s worth it to request a fluoride application at least twice each year. It takes just a couple of minutes to apply, and you won’t even have to wait to eat or drink afterward!
Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Juban, Juban Dental Care
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