Anyone who has been to the dentist has had the pleasure of receiving a fluoride treatment. You may be wondering; what is fluoride? Do I really need to not eat and drink after treatments? How long do I really need to wait?
We answer these questions and more to make sure you’re prepared for your next dental cleaning appointment!
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral found in our bones and teeth. You can find it naturally in water, soil, plants, rocks, and air and is also added in small amounts to the public water supply.
This handy mineral is utilized by dentists to improve dental health by improving enamel, preventing cavities, and help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria that can lead to tooth decay.
Why Do I Need Fluoride?
Throughout the day, fluoride is lost when acids formed from plaque bacteria wear away the enamel of your teeth. As we lose the minerals in our enamel, we begin to have a higher risk for cavities and tooth decay.
This is where fluoride comes in. Fluoride is added back to enamel from foods we eat, water we drink, brushing our teeth with toothpaste containing fluoride or when we rinse our mouths with mouthwash with fluoride.
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay and can even reverse early decay. By incorporating it into your daily routine through brushing your teeth, washing with mouthwash, and drinking water, you can replace fluoride lost due to plaque bacteria.
Where Can I Get a Fluoride Treatment?
As mentioned before, fluoride can be found in some foods, the water we drink and your everyday toothpaste or mouthwash. If you’re prone to cavities you may want to ask your dentist if a prescription mouth rinse is right for you.
In addition to your daily fight against plaque bacteria, you should see your dentist twice a year for check-ups and cleanings. At your appointment, you should check to see if it’s recommended for you to receive a fluoride treatment or if you need to make any changes to help keep a healthy mouth.
How Long Before I Can Eat and Drink After a Fluoride Treatment?
This is the question so many patients have: how long before I can eat and drink after getting a fluoride treatment? While, this can vary depending on the type of treatment you received, most fluorides have to have a full 30 minutes of sitting on the teeth to be absorbed into the enamel effectively.
This means, in order for your fluoride treatment to work like it’s supposed to, you need to not eat or drink (including water!) for at least 30 minutes after the treatment is applied.
Should I Get a Fluoride Treatment?
For most people, getting a fluoride treatment during your annual cleanings is recommended and encouraged. The best way to know if fluoride treatments are right for you is to talk to your dentist and find out what they recommend and how often.
For more information about fluoride or if you’re in need of a check-up and cleaning, then contact Cobblestone Park Family Dental today for an appointment.