Not long ago, a friend told me she has visited a dental clinic near her place. She was given ‘fluoride treatment’ on the chair by the dentist. As it was covered by her insurance, she did not asked too much questions about it. She then rang me up the next day and asked about this ‘fluoride’ thing. What is ‘fluoride treatment’?
The goal of a fluoride tray treatment is to help prevent new decay. The fluoride strengthen the teeth and harden them. It is particularly useful for patient with dry mouth or have difficulty brushing regularly.
You see, fluoride is obtained in two forms: topical and systemic. Topical fluorides strengthen teeth already present in the mouth. In this method of delivery, fluoride is incorporated into the surface of teeth making them more decay-resistant. Topically applied fluoride provides local protection on the tooth surface. Topical fluorides include toothpaste, mouth rinses and professionally applied fluoride gels and rinses.
Systemic fluorides are those that are ingested into the body and become incorporated into forming tooth structures. Systemic fluorides can also give topical protection because ingested fluoride is present in saliva, which continually bathes the teeth providing a reservoir of fluoride that can be incorporated into the tooth surface to prevent decay. Fluoride also becomes incorporated into dental plaque and facilitates further remineralization.Sources of systemic fluorides include water, dietary fluoride supplements in the forms of tablets, drops or lozenges, and fluoride present in food and beverages.