Using Fluoride to Protect your Teeth
You brush twice daily, floss frequently, and see the dentist every six months, but did you know that cleaning your teeth with fluoride — a mineral that helps avoid cavities and gum disease — additionally assists keep your teeth healthy and strong?
Fluoride prevents cavities and tooth decay by coating the teeth and preventing plaque from forming and hardening on the tooth’s surface.
Fluoride is available in two forms: topical fluoride and systemic fluoride.
- Topical fluoride is administered directly to the tooth and is found in toothpastes and mouth rinses.
- Fluoride systems are typically exclusively utilized by dentists and are not frequently accessible for at-home usage. Fluoride treatments administered systemically are often used to aid in the protection of children undergoing dental surgeries.
Having a fluoride treatment administered by your dentist
Fluoride treatments at the dentist’s office are quick and painless. Following the treatment, patients may be requested to refrain from rinsing, eating, or drinking for at least 30 minutes to enable the fluoride to be absorbed by the teeth. You may be obliged to undergo a fluoride treatment every three, six, or twelve months, depending on your dental health or your doctor’s suggestion. Additionally, your doctor may prescribe a fluoride solution for at-home use, such as mouthwash, gels, or an antibacterial rinse.
How to choose the appropriate fluoride treatment
Always look for the American Dental Association’s (ADA) stamp of approval when purchasing an at-home fluoride product (such as toothpaste or mouthwash). The ADA has thoroughly investigated and approved products bearing the ADA seal of approval based on their safety and efficacy.