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What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a natural mineral found in water and many foods. When applied to teeth, fluoride encourages tooth enamel to resist the actions of acids by strengthening, rebuilding tooth enamel, reversing early signs of tooth decay, or maintaining the current condition of your teeth. While fluoride can be applied systematically or topically, our office uses fluoride varnish to coat the teeth.

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How long do the benefits of fluoride varnish last?

When applied in highly concentrated amounts, fluoride offers a variety of benefits. Some of these benefits include reversing cavities and discouraging them. When you visit our office for fluoride treatment, Dr. Matney and our team will coat the surface of your teeth with fluoride. It should stick to your teeth for four to six hours before being washed away by brushing or drinking. During this time, the enamel will absorb the fluoride to keep teeth protected for several months.

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How often should I get fluoride treatment?

Although most patients receive fluoride from food and water, it may not be enough to help prevent decay. The amount of fluoride treatment per year will vary per patient. Patients with a higher risk of cavity development may require fluoride more often. During your routine dental exam or cleaning, Dr. Matney will suggest when and how much treatment is necessary. For most patients, fluoride application after a dental cleaning is enough to encourage a healthy, long-lasting smile!

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