Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in all water sources, including the oceans. Research has shown that fluoride not only reduces cavities in children and adults, but it also helps repair the early stages of tooth decay.
How does it work?
It works by getting absorbed into the enamel. It helps to repair the enamel by replenishing the lost calcium and phosphorous to keep your teeth hard. This process is caused by remineralization. Thus, fluoride helps stop the decay process and prevent tooth decay.
Fluoride treatments in the dental office
For patients who are more susceptible to dental decay (cavity formation), Fluoride can be applied directly to your teeth in the dental office. Professional fluoride treatments generally take just a few minutes. The fluoride may be in the form of a solution, gel, foam or varnish. Typically, it is applied with a cotton swab or brush, or it is used as a rinse or placed in a tray that is held in the mouth for several minutes.
After the treatment, you may be asked not to rinse, eat or drink for at least 30 minutes to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride and help repair microscopic carious areas.
Depending on your oral health status, fluoride treatments may be recommended every three, six or 12 months.