If you go to regular dental visits, you are probably used to getting a fluoride treatment at the very end of the appointment. Fluoride treatments strengthen enamel on teeth, and this is why dentists encourage all patients to undergo these treatments twice each year. Fluoride treatments generally involve the use of a foam product that contains fluoride, but today many dentists are now offering fluoride treatments in the form of a varnish. If you are wondering what the difference is, here are several things to know.
Fluoride varnish often contains more fluoride
Both products are designed to be placed on teeth as a way of exposing the teeth to fluoride; however, the level of fluoride found in varnish is generally higher than the level found in foam fluoride. This means that if you get a varnish treatment, your teeth will receive more fluoride. After the dentist places the fluoride on your teeth, your teeth will absorb it, and this will help rebuild and strengthen the enamel. Because you get more fluoride with varnish, your teeth may be stronger than they would be from a foam treatment.
Fluoride varnish is easier to use and is more effective
Secondly, dentists are finding that fluoride varnish is more effective and is easier to use. Because dentists paint varnish fluoride on the teeth, they have more control as to where the fluoride goes. The varnish dries very quickly, too, which means it absorbs into teeth faster. This causes it to be the more effective option of the two. With the foam treatments, dentists place the foam in tooth trays and place them in your mouth. This gives very little control as to what teeth actually absorb the fluoride.
Fluoride varnish is more comfortable for patients
Finally, if you compare the differences for the people receiving the treatments, most people would prefer the varnish option. People prefer this because it is faster and because going through the foam treatment is very uncomfortable. Some people will gag from the foam, simply because of how it feels in the mouth and due to the required use of suction during it. The varnish is just painted on, so it is a lot less uncomfortable to go through.
While fluoride varnish has some advantages over fluoride foam, both are still good options for your teeth. If you would like more information about fluoride and other dental treatments, contact your local dentist.