External application of fluoride gels help prevent and fight tooth decay by restoring minerals to the teeth and hardening the enamel. It is done more commonly in children starting at the age of 6 years.
Fluoride treatment is applicable for children after the first permanent tooth erupts. It strengthens teeth by preventing tooth decay and it also helps to stop bacteria from making acids.
As it is said “prevention is better than cure.”
A detailed consultation should be done with the dentist to understand why fluoride application should be done. After all your questions are answered the dentist will proceed for the procedure. Professional cleaning of teeth should be done prior to the application of fluoride.
It is a single visit procedure. Teeth are dried by using cotton rolls or rubber dam so the fluoride doesn’t become diluted. Fluoride varnish is painted on the teeth and cured by a UV light. Fluoride application is repeated multiple number of times from the age of 6 years to 13 years (once all permanent teeth have erupted).
After cleaning of teeth:-
– Child is advised not to eat or drink anything for 30-45 minutes .This is done to avoid washing away the fluoride and maximise the contact of the fluoride with the teeth.
– Do touch ups or booster sessions to maintain the fluoride application on the parts of teeth which are prone to decay.
– Maintain oral hygiene by regular brushing twice a day and flossing.
– Visit your dentist every 3 – 6 months.
– Eat healthy foods like green vegetables, fruits and dairy products like milk, cheese.
– Drink plenty of water before and after meals so the unwanted food particles are flushed out.
– Limit the consumption of acidic foods and beverages like tea, coffee, fizzy drinks.
– Limit the consumption of sticky foods like pizza, candies, chocolates etc.
– Avoid biting finger nails, pen’s cap, pencils etc and avoid using your teeth to open bottles or to tear packets.