Using Fluoride to Protect Your Teeth
You brush your teeth twice a day, floss nightly, and visit the dentist every four to six months, but did you know that a flouride treatment — a mineral that helps prevent cavities and tooth decay — also helps keep your teeth healthy and strong?
Fluoride is effective in preventing cavities and tooth decay. Flouride slows down the development of decay by stopping demineralization. It remineralizes teeth with flouride ions making the tooth surface stronger and kills bacteria.
Fluoride comes in two varieties, systemic and topical:
- Systemic fluoride is ingested, usually through a public water supply. While teeth are forming under the gums, the fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, making it stronger and more resistant to cavities.
- Fluoride can also be applied topically to help prevent caries (cavities) on teeth present in the mouth. It is delivered through toothpaste, mouthwash, and professional fluoride applications.
Receiving a fluoride treatment from your dentist
A fluoride treatment in your dentist's office takes just a few minutes. After the treatment, you will be asked to refrain from drinking hot liquids and alcohol for three hours. Depending on your oral health or your doctor's recommendation, you may be required to have a fluoride treatment every three to six months. Your dental professional may also prescribe an at-home fluoride product such as a mouthwash, gel, or antibacterial rinse.
How to choose the right fluoride treatment
When choosing your own at-home fluoride product (such as toothpaste or mouthwash), always check for the American Dental Association's (ADA) seal of acceptance. Products marked with the ADA seal of approval have been carefully examined by the ADA, and approved based on safety and effectiveness. Take care of your teeth and smile bright with dental fluoride treatments!