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Professional Prophylaxis and Topical Fluoride Treatment

Fluoride is the most powerful means of dental caries prevention. During the last decades, the cases of dental caries has dramatically declined, and this is largely due to the daily use of topical fluorides: fluoride-containing toothpastes, fluoride mouthwashes, topical fluoride treatment at the Dentist’s office. According to the World Health Organization, access to fluoride is an undeniable right for the protection of oral health, and its discovery is considered among the most significant ones for public health.

At the office, topical fluoride treatment aims to reinforce both primary and permanent teeth, which are gradually erupting in the mouth. The effect of fluoride is mainly topical; on the one hand it creates a chemical bonding with the enamel, the superficial layer of the tooth, increasing its resistance to oral acids, and on the other hand it possesses antimicrobial qualities against the microbes of the mouth. At the office, it is used in two forms:

fluoride gel, applied using disposable polystyrene trays, and fluoride varnish. According to international instruction, topical fluoride treatment should take place at least two times per year, at the office. Meanwhile, it is important that the dentist monitor and recall the continuously altering and developing oral state of the young patients at the phase of growing.

Professional prophylaxis or calculus removal, if needed, which precedes the dental examination in order for the correct diagnosis to be extracted and for the fluoride to be applied on a clean environment without dental plaque and food residues (debris). Moreover, there is a revision and a demonstration on the correct way of tooth brushing. Lastly, professional prophylaxis is very valuable for the child’s psychology and their familiarization with dentistry services. The aim is to desensitize the child so as to think of a visit at the Dentist’s office as something casual and disconnect it from the fear of pain.