Fluoride Treatment

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral found naturally. Almost all water contains some fluoride. However, the levels of fluoride varies depending on where your water comes from. As for Singapore, fluoride is added to the water with the fluoridation level at 0.6mg per litre of water. That is also well within the level of 1.5mg per litre as prescribed by the World Health Organisation (WHO)

What is fluoride treatment?

A Fluoride treatment is a surface agent applied to your teeth by your dentist. The varnish, or gel contains more fluoride than your usual fluoridated water or toothpaste. As an example your toothpaste delivers about 1000 parts per million of fluoride whereas most over the counter mouth rinses contain about 250 parts per million. 

Dentist applied gels and varnishes contain fluoride levels ranging from 9000 parts per million to 20 000 parts per million. It only takes a few minutes to apply the Fluoride to the top and sides of each tooth. To maintain a high concentration of Fluoride in the mouth after treatment we recommend no consumption of food or ingestion of liquids for at least 20 minutes. 

How does it work?

Dentists provide professional fluoride treatments in the form of a highly concentrated foam, rinse, gel or varnish. This treatment can be applied on using a tray, brush, swab or even a mouthwash. 

These treatments contain more fluoride than the content in your toothpaste or water and it only takes you a couple of minutes to apply. Also, do keep in mind that you should always provide your dentist with your full health history so they can choose a treatment that best suits you.  

How much fluoride do you need?

The interval between Fluoride treatments vary according to the risk for caries (decay) that you have. Often it will be 3, 6, 9 or 12 monthly. That same decay risk will help your dentist determine the concentration of the Fluoride treatment that you should have

Below are some of the things that can increase your risk of cavities:

  • excessive drug or alcohol use
  • Eating disorder
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Lack of professional dental care
  • Poor diet
  • Dry mouth 
  • Weak enamel

What are the benefits of fluoride treatment?

Listed below are some of the benefits of fluoride treatments:

  • Helps desensitize teeth
  • Prevents cavities
  • Strengthened weakened tooth enamel
  • Limits the growth of oral bacteria
  • Slow the loss of minerals from tooth enamel
  • Lowers the risk of decay in the most susceptible spots such as the edge of filings or crowns exposed root surfaces from receding gums
  • Helps in preventing decay in patients with decreased saliva flow leading to dry mouth