Fluoride is the most effective agent available to help prevent tooth decay. It is a mineral that is naturally present in varying amounts in almost all foods and water supplies. Although most people receive fluoride from food and water, sometimes it is not enough to help prevent decay. Fluoride strengthens the teeth once they have erupted by seeping into the outer surface of the tooth enamel, making the teeth more resistant to decay. We gain topical fluoride by using fluoride containing dental products such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, and gels. We generally recommend that children have a professional application of fluoride twice a year during dental check-ups.

Things to expect after treatment:

  • Avoid anything acidic (i.e. sodas).
  • Avoid hot drinks and products containing alcohol (i.e. beverages, oral rinses, etc) during treatment period.
  • Avoid brushing and flossing for 8-12 hours. If possible, wait until tomorrow morning to resume normal oral hygiene.
  • Teeth will feel sticky.
  • After application, fluoride may appear white and streaky on the tooth surface. A thorough brushing and flossing will remove any remaining fluoride.

Remember, fluoride alone will not prevent tooth decay! It is important to brush at least twice a day, floss regularly, eat balanced meals, reduce sugary snacks, and visit your dentist on a regular basis.