For decades, fluoride has been held in high regard by the dental community as an important mineral that is absorbed into and strengthens tooth enamel, thereby helping to prevent decay of tooth structures.
In nearly every U.S. community, public drinking supplies are supplemented with sodium fluoride because the practice is acknowledged as safe and effective in fighting cavities.
Some private wells may contain naturally fluoridated water.
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a safe compound found throughout nature-from the water we drink and air we breathe, to many kinds of foods.
Why Is Fluoride Important To Teeth?
Fluoride is absorbed into structures, such as bones and teeth, making them stronger and more resistant to fractures and decay. A process in your body called "remineralization" uses fluoride to repair damage caused by decay.
How Do I Get Fluoride?
Just drinking public water will provide a certain measure of fluoride protection. But for years, health professionals have endorsed the practice of supplementing our intake with certain dietary products, and topical fluorides in many toothpastes and some kinds of rinses. Certain beverages such as tea and soda may also contain fluoride. Certain kinds of dental varnishes and gels may also be applied directly to teeth to boost fluoride intake.
Fluoride at Your Dental Office
Our office offers 2 types of in-office fluoride treatments. The most widely used and most effective type of in-office fluoride is Varnish. Fluoride varnish is painted on the teeth and should be left on for 6 hours or overnight. Fluoride varnish is very thick and therefore can not be swallowed, which is very important for young children. You may eat and drink immediately after the fluoride varnish application, but must limit your food and drink to soft, cool foods and drinks so you do not knock the fluoride off or cause it to melt. We also offer a gel fluoride which is applied with soft trays. You wear the trays for 4 minutes, being careful not to swallow it, and then spit out the remaining fluoride after the trays are removed. You may not eat or drink anything for 30 minutes after fluoride gel is applied. but then may resume a normal diet. We also offer take home fluoride for our patients that are at high risk for decay. The product is by prescription or can be purchased in our office. The take home fluoride is a Colgate product and is not available over the counter.« Go Back