Topical Fluoride Treatment: Therapy Options, Benefits and Risks

Posted on

Fluoridation is aimed at the prevention of dental caries by ensuring that the tooth enamel is more resistant to corrosion from bacterial acids and sugars. The normal mineral content declines after exposure to these oral bacteria, so it is essential to provide more fluoride to repair the enamel. It is important to note that the fluoride mineral occurs naturally in many foods and in drinking water. You can rely on ingested fluoride for enamel repair and maintenance, but sometimes, it is necessary to take more proactive steps to make certain that the financial and health repercussions of dental cavities are avoided. If you are thinking about consulting your dentist for fluoride treatment for you and your family, consider this important information.

Therapy Options

The general administration of the fluoride element is carried out through topical application. In home care, the material is provided in a selection of dental formulations such as oral rinses and toothpastes. Professional topical fluoride application is recommended generally for children twice a year until they attain the age of eighteen. However, there are different types of treatment plans available, especially if you are a high risk patient with regard to caries, orthodontic disorders and oral problems such as decreased saliva flow.

Typically, professional fluoride therapy is administered in the clinic through foams and gels that are set on disposable trays. These are placed in the oral cavity over the teeth, and the patient will be required to gently bite on them. This allows the material to penetrate the fissure and pits of the teeth. Saliva suctioning is provided to prevent ingestion of the dental gel or foam. After removal of the trays, a wait period of about half an hour is set to allow deposition of the mineral in the teeth without the inconvenience of food or drinks.


Topical fluoride promotes the incorporation of the mineral in the tooth enamel which means that it repairs the integrity of the structure. This hardening of the teeth also limits the vulnerability of the teeth to acids and consequently, cavities. You will also benefit from the reformed structure if you suffer from teeth sensitivity.


Overexposure to fluoride can result in a condition known as fluorosis, which is manifested as browning of the teeth. Negative reactions such as nausea and vomiting can occur if the topical treatment is swallowed, and in large doses, it is potentially lethal. Additionally, it is common for patients to view professional fluoridation an alternative to diligent oral hygiene practices.  

For more information, contact a business such as Thomas Aulsebrook & Associates.