It is essential to recognize that dental health is critical for your well-being. Healthy gums and teeth are the foundation of dental wellness. As a result, we attempt to instill good dental hygiene practices early on. Other than following proper dental care, one should also book an appointment with their dentist. Your dentist will prescribe fluoride varnish treatment at this visit. The frequency of application is determined by the potential risk of developing tooth decay. As a result, people who are more prone to tooth decay should have at least 3 to 4 applications with their dentist every year.
Fluoride varnish is a dental procedure that helps avoid tooth decay by slowing its progression and preventing it from worsening. Fluoride varnish is made up of fluoride, a mineral that reinforces enamel which is the outermost covering of the teeth.
It is important to remember that fluoride varnish cannot completely prevent dental cavities. Fluoride varnish treatment has to be applied in conjunction with appropriate oral hygiene practices such as:
- Brushing with fluoridated toothpaste at least twice a day is recommended.
- Daily flossing
- Reduce the number of sugary snacks consumed daily in between meals.
- Consume fewer carbohydrates.
- To reduce mouth acidity (pH), rinse your mouth with clean water after each meal.
- Consume foods that promote dental enamel and bone strength.
- Regular dental examinations
Fluoride is dissolved into the enamel when it comes in contact with the dental cavity. ‘Hydroxyapatite’ crystals comprise the majority of components of the enamel. Enamel begins to lose hydroxyapatite as a result of decay-causing microorganisms. Demineralized enamel develops as a result of this. The fluoride ions produce fluorapatite, which replaces the depleted calcium and phosphorus in the demineralized enamel. Re-mineralization is the term for this process.
When fluoride is prevalent during this re-mineralization phase, the minerals that are accumulated into the enamel surface bond even stronger than before, preventing disintegration during the following de-mineralization phase. As a result, fluoride aids in the prevention and treatment of tooth decay.
Though both fluoride varnish and fluoridated toothpaste effectively provide fluoride to the teeth, the level of fluoride in each differs. Fluoride varnish contains a greater concentration of fluoride ions, which remain on teeth longer and provide superior cavity prevention. Fluoride varnish is an in-office treatment process in which only properly competent dental/medical providers apply the varnish to the teeth.
Fluoride varnish is completely safe since it is applied by experienced professionals around the world, including dentists and physicians. The amount used is little, and there is no way it could be eaten. It has the property of hardening quickly after application. Furthermore, it is brushed off after roughly 4 to 12 hours on the teeth.
It is a painless and straightforward operation. It takes only a few minutes. The patient is instructed to keep his or her mouth wide open. Fluoride varnish is applied using a small brush called an applicator to the cleansed surfaces of teeth. The varnish is applied to the tops and sides of the teeth avoiding contact with the gums, cheeks, or tongue. The varnish hardens in a matter of seconds. It is impossible to lick it off the teeth.
Wearers of braces might consider obtaining a fluoride varnish treatment so that their teeth are protected even while undergoing orthodontic treatment, as maintaining oral hygiene is difficult when wearing braces.