Fluoride is a key component of good oral health because this mineral helps prevent cavities. When applied early enough, it can also help repair teeth that are in the very beginning stages of disease. You may already be getting extra fluoride in your system by drinking fluoridated water or taking dietary fluoride supplements. One way to increase your reduction in tooth disease is by adding topical fluoride treatments to these protection measures. Topical treatments can come in the form of fluoride toothpastes, mouth rinses, or fluoride treatments that are applied in a dentist's office. A fluoride treatment may also help desensitize teeth that are susceptible to cold or hot temperatures.
Find a family dentist or general dentist who will assess the health of your teeth and advise you about the need for extra fluoride treatments. If you are at a higher risk of dental decay, the dentist may recommend that you have a professional fluoride treatment.
A professional fluoride treatment contains a much stronger concentration of fluoride than what is available to you through toothpastes or mouth rinses that you use at home. An office treatment will usually take just a few minutes. Your dentist may use fluoride that is in the form of a gel, solution, foam or varnish. The dentist may apply the fluoride directly to your teeth with a brush or cotton swab, or may ask you to rinse your mouth with a fluoride solution. Sometimes a gel is placed in a try that is held in place over your teeth for several minutes.
Whatever form of treatment is used will probably take just a few minutes, but your dentist may ask you not to eat or drink anything, or rinse your mouth, for another thirty minutes or so. This will allow the fluoride sufficient time to be absorbed into your teeth so it can begin its job of repairing diseased areas. These treatments may need to be repeated on a regular basis, depending on the state of your teeth. In certain cases, the doctor may also recommend a prescription product to provide additional protection.
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