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Fluoride Treatments

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What Are Fluoride Treatments?

Fluoride treatments used to be primarily recommended for young patients, and new studies are showing that patients of all age can benefit from fluoride treatments. Fluoride is believed to be most effective when it is used as a preventive dental treatment to strengthen developing teeth, but fully developed teeth can still benefit from the effects, which can help prevent cavities and other tooth damage.

Fluoride treatments can also help prevent root damage and decay, which can be a serious concern for adults and can lead to the need for a root canal or a tooth extraction. Fluoride treatments can help patients keep their teeth strong and healthy, giving them another layer of protection against bacteria.

How We Can Help You

Patients in the Burke, Virginia area can trust the team at Burke Dental with all their dental needs. Led by Dr. James Willis, the team at Burke Dental has years of experience in delivering top-notch care to our patients. Burke Dental is proud to offer a variety of dental services ranging from simple maintenance procedures to oral surgery.

This variety allows us to treat our patients over a long period of time without having to refer them to a different dental practice and allows us to build personal relationships with our patients. At Burke Dental, we know that each patient is an individual and needs an individual care plan and we strive to deliver that. Whether the patient expresses an interest in fluoride treatments or needs dental implants, Burke Dental is there to help.

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Benefits of Fluoride Treatments

There are a lot of reasons fluoride treatments are a good thing. Fluoride treatments have been recommended by dentists for decades because the benefits outweigh any potential setbacks. The debate about whether water supplies should be treated with water is an interesting one, with good arguments on both sides. However, if patients are not getting regular exposure to fluoride, even in low doses, they should consider fluoride treatments because some exposure to fluoride is a good thing. The benefits of fluoride treatment include:

  • Strengthens teeth. One of the reasons fluoride is recommended for children is because fluoride can strengthen a tooth’s enamel and make the toothless susceptible to decay. This is particularly important for teeth that are just starting to grow in, but can also be helpful with adult teeth that may be weakening due to years of exposure to bacteria and leftover food particles.
  • A good foundation to learn good dental habits. One of the reasons young patients are vulnerable to tooth decay is because they are still learning good oral care routines. It can take several years for a young patient to completely master the art of successfully brushing their own teeth. Regular fluoride treatments can help offer a layer of protection while the patient learns how to maintain a proper oral care routine.
  • Prevents the need for further treatment. Fluoride treatments protect and strengthen the teeth again bacteria, and they can also help keep the teeth healthy which prevents the need for further dental procedures which could be quite costly and time consuming. It is better to choose simple procedures as a preventive measure than to have to undergo more serious procedures because you didn’t take good care of your teeth.
  • Professional treatments are stronger. Some patients may wonder why they need to go to the dentist for a fluoride treatment when they can buy toothpaste with fluoride. The answer is that over-the-counter products have a lower of concentration of fluoride and aren’t as effective as the professional treatments. Also, fluoride needs to be maintain contact with the tooth surface for a period of time. Professionally supervised fluoride applications are designed to provide adequate contact time. Fluoride-based toothpastes and other at-home treatments are meant to work in tandem with professional treatments and boost the level of protection.

Fluoride treatments are something that can benefit almost anyone, regardless of age. Fluoride treatments protect the teeth against harm and help prevent tooth damage and decay.

Who Are Fluoride Treatments For

Until recently, fluoride treatments were only recommended for patients under the age of 14, with some dentist recommending stopping as early as 12. This was because it was believed that the treatments were most effective on growing teeth. However new research indicates that the benefits of fluoride treatment are not limited to children. Patients can benefit from fluoride treatment if:

  • Their home water supply does not contain fluoride. While a lot of cities put fluoride treatments in the water supply, not all do. Patients living in a fluoride-free area could benefit from the layer of protection that fluoride treatments offer.
  • They wear braces. While braces are typically associated with adolescence, they can be required at any age. Braces can be a breeding ground for bacteria and undergoing a fluoride treatment can help protect against that bacteria before it spreads.
  • They suffer from gum damage. Severe gum damage can leave a patient particularly vulnerable to tooth damage and decay. Fluoride treatments can help protect the exposed area of the tooth, which can prevent root and gum infection.
  • They suffer from severe dry mouth. Patients who suffer from dry mouth are at higher risk of tooth decay because a dry mouth is a breeding ground for infection. Fluoride treatments won’t cure chronic dry mouth, but it can help prevent the bacteria from causing further infection or tooth damage.  Many medications cause dry mouth.
  • Their teeth are still growing up. While fluoride treatments aren’t just for children, they are still highly recommended for younger patients. This is because young teeth are vulnerable to infection, especially since many young patients are still learning good oral care habits and need the extra level of defense and protection.

Patients who are interested in fluoride treatments can make an appointment with Burke Dental for an examination. At the initial consult someone from the Burke Dental team will consult with the patient and recommend the right course of action.


Getting Fluoride Treatments

Patients in the Burke, Virginia area who are interested in fluoride treatments, either for themselves or their children, should book an appointment with the Burke Dental team. The treatment process is very quick and simple. A professional fluoride treatment can be completed in a matter of minutes and doesn’t involve any pain or discomfort on the part of the patient. Patients who are interested in a professional fluoride treatment can request that it be added on as part of their regular dental examination.

During a fluoride treatment someone from the Burke Dental team will apply the fluoride solution to the patient’s teeth and then they are free to go. Before leaving the office, the patient will be advised not to eat or drink anything for 30 minutes to an hour to allow the solution time to take effect. They will also be advised not to brush their teeth or rinse their mouth for this same period of time.

For younger patients and adult patients at higher risk of tooth decay, regular fluoride treatments are recommended. The recommended frequency of the treatments can vary depending on the patient’s individual needs, but every six months is the most frequent recommendation and this can be timed to coincide with the patient’s regular dental check-up and cleaning, which should also occur every six months.


Contact Burke Dental Today!

The best way to get more information about fluoride treatments is to talk to a professional at Burke Dental. Patients can Dr. Ghanavati or by calling our office at 703-978-6000.


We are located at 9006 Fern Park Drive Ste A, Burke, VA 22015

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