Fluoride is a great way to prevent cavities and tooth decay. And fluoride varnish is a cavity prevention treatment that’s convenient, effective and safe. Applied directly to the tooth’s surface, fluoride varnish is a highly concentrated form of fluoride. Not only does this treatment help prevent dental decay, it also remineralizes the tooth surface and helps treat hypersensitivity.
This varnish is not permanent, but is still able to adhere to the surface of the tooth for several hours. At North Seattle Dental we offer patients a couple of excellent fluoride varnish treatments to help protect their teeth from cavities.
Clinpro™ 5000 1.1% Sodium Fluoride Anti-Cavity Prescription Toothpaste
Clinpro 5000 prescription toothpaste delivers 5 times the fluoride over the counter pastes do, helps strengthen enamel and helps reverse white spot lesions. This convenient way of delivering fluoride is ideal for patients with tooth sensitivity, decalcifications (white spots), dry mouth (low salivary flow), and at risk for cavities, or in active orthodontic treatment. It has a pleasant Vanilla Mint Flavor with a 2 year shelf life. We have this available for our patients. One tube lasts six months.
In office Fluoride Varnish:
This is a treatment we now use for all children and adults that are at risk for cavities. It is a 5.5% Sodium Fluoride varnish that is easily applied and is white and pleasant tasting. It has a major advantage over tray applied or rinse type fluorides because it sticks to the teeth for about 20-30 minutes. The varnish coats, adheres, and slowly releases fluoride to all at risk areas allowing for tooth remineralization and fewer cavities. The previous protocols only exposed the teeth for about 3-4 minutes and were not as easily tolerated. This enables it to deliver its maximum effectiveness while being much more convenient for the patient.
If you’re interested in learning more about any of these fluoride varnish options, or our other cavity prevention options, please let us know at your next appointment.
The Benefits of Fluoride
Fluoride is a mineral found naturally in many foods, such as certain raw vegetables, fruits, dairy products and meats, as well as in water. Minerals are constantly added to and lost from the tooth’s enamel layer every day. When minerals are lost from the tooth, we describe this as demineralization, which takes place when acids in the mouth (formed from plaque bacteria and sugars) attack the enamel. When minerals such as fluoride, phosphate and calcium are redeposited to the enamel through the foods we eat and water, we refer to this as remineralization. Too much demineralization without adequate remineralization to help repair a tooth’s enamel layer leads to tooth decay.
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to the bacteria and sugars that lead to cavities. And that’s where fluoride dental treatments help out. If we’re not getting enough fluoride naturally, or have certain existing dental conditions that make us more susceptible to tooth decay, additional fluoride treatments, such as a fluoride varnish, can help our teeth maintain a healthy enamel layer to combat cavities.