Taking care of your oral health is extremely important. Not only does it help prevent oral diseases, such as cavities and gum disease, but it also keeps your smile bright and white.
Fortunately, you can maintain good oral health by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily. However, the help of your dentist is also necessary to ensure that your teeth and gums remain healthy and strong.
Nonetheless, it can sometimes be hard to schedule a dentist appointment due to work and other activities. Although your lunch break is probably a great time for a quick visit, you should consider that your dentist will most likely give you a fluoride treatment.
This is a simple yet outstanding way to protect your teeth. The kicker is you should avoid eating and drinking water right after getting a fluoride treatment.
In this article, we'll discuss fluoride in general, its uses and benefits, and explain how long you should wait to eat after a fluoride treatment.
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral widely used in dentistry due to its preventative properties and benefits. It can be found in almost any toothpaste and mouthwash.
Although fluoride is found in many products, the dentist can perform a topical fluoride treatment to give your teeth additional protection.
Fluoride is capable of strengthening the teeth's enamel and even remineralizing it. Therefore, a fluoride treatment can revert the damage caused by cavities. Nonetheless, this is only possible when the cavity is still in its initial stage and hasn't caused an abscess or a hole in your tooth.
What Is A Fluoride Treatment?
A fluoride treatment is a simple procedure that consists of applying topical fluoride directly to your teeth. This ensures they absorb this mineral needed to improve their defense mechanism against bacteria.
Fluoride can be found in different presentations, such as:
Gel and varnish are the types that most dentists use.
When using a gel fluoride treatment, the dentist puts a small amount of gel into a plastic tray and then inserts it into your mouth, asking you to bite down on the tray for a few minutes.
On the other hand with a varnish treatment, the dentist simply coats your teeth with a fluoride solution.
How Long After a Fluoride Treatment Can I Eat?
Fluoride takes time to set on your teeth to provide a beneficial effect. Therefore, the sooner you remove it, the more its efficiency decreases.
Dentists recommend not eating or drinking anything for at least 30 minutes after a fluoride treatment. Otherwise, the fluoride covering the teeth might get washed away.
It is recommended to eat before attending the appointment if you have scheduled a dental visit during your lunch break hours. This way, you won't have to wait to eat after the fluoride treatment. It also helps you ensure that the fluoride remains on your teeth for as long as possible.
Why Do I Need Fluoride?
Fluoride improves your teeth's resistance to acid and helps to remineralize them.
Dental cavities are caused by acid attacks. After eating, bacteria in your mouth use food leftovers and sugars as nutrients to replicate and continue living. This is done through a metabolization process.
As a result, bacteria release acids into your mouth, and onto your teeth. These acids are mild enough that you don’t feel them, but they are strong enough to damage your teeth.
The acids demineralize and weaken your teeth sometimes resulting in the formation of a cavity.
Fluoride is capable of strengthening your teeth's enamel. They make it strong enough to withstand this acid attack. However, you still need to brush your teeth and floss to remove plaque from your teeth.
A fluoride treatment is one of the best methods available to protect your teeth against cavities. This mineral strengthens your enamel and makes your teeth less susceptible to acids and the formation of cavities.
You should wait at least 30 minutes before eating or drinking after a topical fluoride application. This prevents you from accidentally washing away the fluoride before your teeth absorb it. Also, it prevents you from suffering an undesirable stomach ache.
Make sure to schedule a visit to Arkansas Family Dental to get your teeth cleaned. Even if you only have time during your lunch break, we can help you protect your teeth through a quick fluoride treatment to achieve the healthy smile you deserve.