You have most likely been asked whether or not you want a fluoride treatment after your hygiene appointment at Arvada Dental Center. You may be among the many that accept the treatment but do not completely understand why it is recommended and why it is an important part of your overall oral health. This article will go over why fluoride is necessary, what products you can use at home that contain fluoride, and why your hygienist recommends a fluoride treatment after every hygiene appointment.

Let’s start with the first question: why is fluoride necessary? Fluoride has been found to be the most effective method for preventing and controlling tooth decay, commonly known as cavities. According to the American Dental Association, tooth decay is one of the most common childhood diseases, and millions of school hours are lost each year due to dental-related illness (ADA.org, 2015). Some people associate tooth decay with only children; however, it is also prevalent in adults. That is the reason your hygienist offers to apply a fluoride treatment after each cleaning and often recommends a fluoride rinse to use a home.

Moving on to the next question: What are some effective products that you can use at home that have fluoride? Two popular means of fluoride to use at home are toothpaste and mouth rinses. Drug stores have a wide variety of both, but you should always check the label to make sure it contains fluoride. Those at a higher risk for tooth decay are often recommended prescription-strength toothpaste. After it is prescribed, this toothpaste can either be conveniently bought at Arvada Dental Center, or at your local pharmacy.

The last question: why does your hygienist recommend a fluoride treatment after every hygiene visit? Fluoride can be obtained by two general means:  it can be ingested by drinking water that contains fluoride, or it can be applied directly on the teeth. Both children and adults benefit from both means, and here at Arvada Dental Center we offer a fluoride varnish that is applied directly to the teeth. Fluoride varnish is effective in reversing early tooth decay and has become the standard of care in practice in the United States. Fluoride varnishes are safe, have good patient acceptance, and also offer the additional benefit of symptom relief for hypersensitivity. Fluoride varnish application is part of comprehensive treatment for overall health.

At your next hygiene appointment, be sure to ask about fluoride. We will be happy to answer any additional questions you may have.

By: Megan Lecander,  R.D.H.