Using Fluoride to Protect Your Teeth
You brush your teeth twice a day, floss regularly, and visit the dentist every six months, but did you know that brushing with fluoride — a mineral that helps prevent cavities and tooth decay — also helps keep your teeth healthy and strong?
Fluoride is effective for reducing cavities and tooth decay by coating your teeth and preventing plaque from building up and hardening on the tooth’s surface. Fluoride is also effective at decreasing tooth sensitivity to cold and sweets.
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, to make 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 our office takes just a few minutes. After the treatment, you may be asked not to rinse, eat, or drink for at least 30 minutes in order to allow your teeth to absorb the fluoride.
Depending on your oral health or Dr. Day’s recommendation, you may be advised to have a fluoride treatment every three, four, or six months. We may also prescribe an at-home fluoride treatment product.
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 association and approved based on safety and effectiveness. Take care of your teeth and smile bright with dental fluoride treatments!