Plastic Surgery

Fluoride application

What is the Fluoride application?

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in all water sources including the oceans. When absorbed by the body, it is used by the cells that build the teeth to make stronger enamel. Topical fluoride that is applied to the outside of your enamel makes the crystals that form enamel more durable. Such crystals are more resistant to acid and are therefore less likely to breakdown.

Fluoride helps prevent cavities by fixing the first tiny stages of tooth decay and slowing down the growth of bacteria. It is very important for kids over the age of 5 years old to get fluoride treatments to enhance the strength of the forming baby and adult teeth. In adults, when the teeth are fully formed and erupted, it is helpful to decrease the sensitivity of teeth.

What is the procedure?

Topical fluoride can be administered by several different methods.

1. The application of fluoride solution. This type of fluoride must be painted on the teeth with a cotton tip applicator.
2. The use of a concentrated fluoride rinse.
3. Tray technique, which is used to apply fluoride gels. A variety of trays are available for fluoride gel application. Trays come in several arch sizes to ensure optimal fit for each patient.

Fluoride varnish provides the most effective way of topical fluoride application on a child’s teeth.

Topical fluoride varnish application is recommended for infants and children with moderate or high risk of developing caries, if there is need for additional fluoride supplementation.

Application is quick and easy. Fluoride varnish is painted directly to the tooth surface (on to enamel or cementum). Its purpose is to hold fluoride in closed contact with the tooth for a period of time. It hardens into a clear or yellowish film coating in the presence of saliva.

Advantages and disadvantages of the procedure

The advantages of fluoride varnish application:

• Fluoride varnish acts in two ways :
   - quickly adheres to teeth promoting tooth re-mineralization;
   - it is also slowly released to the tooth surface over time, providing on-going fluoride protection, enhancing its effectiveness versus the rest of the topical fluoride treatments.
• Quick and easy to apply. Applying the varnish takes less than two minutes, making it ideal for patients who are anxious or who have special needs.
• It is safer to use. The amount of fluoride swallowed is small or negligible, which makes it acceptable for use in very young children.
• Tastes better, compared to fluoride gels, making it more acceptable by infants. Fluoride varnish is available in various flavors.
• Does not require the use of trays that may trigger gag reflex.
• Does not require the use of sophisticated dental equipment and instruments.

Recommendations after the procedure

Right after the procedure the patient should eat a soft, non-abrasive diet for the rest of tha day and do not brush teeth until the next day.

Possible side effects and complications

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