Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps your teeth stronger by remineralizing the enamel, which is the outer layer of teeth that protects your teeth from getting cavities With a lack of good oral hygiene, plagues can build up. Plagues are collection of bacteria, which produce acids that dissolve the enamel layer. This whole process is called dimineralization. The demineralization makes teeth weaker causing cavities. Fluoride prevents the demineralization process, and in fact, it remineralizes the enamel layer by replenishing calcium and phosphorous to the enamel layer.
Fluorides are found everywhere these days. We live in an environment where even most of our daily drinking water is fluoridated. It can be also found in most of our oral hygiene products such as mouth rinses, toothpastes, etc.
Due to the benefit of fluoridation, fluoride treatments may be recommended for both adults and children. Typically every 6 months or 12 months. It can be especially effective if you are genetically more prone to getting cavities. However, most insurances cover fluoride for only children to certain age limit.
In dental office, the fluoride comes in a variety of forms. It can be applied as a fluoride gel or as a varnish, both of which have significantly higher concentration of fluoride compare to your daily fluoride exposure. The fluoride treatment a very simple procedure of applying fluoride on top of teeth by a some form of medium such as q-tip, cotton roll, etc. It takes some time for the fluoride to be smeared into enamel, so you will be asked to not to drink or rinse for 30 minutes.
Additionally if you need more fluoride treatment, you may be able to get a prescription for a prescribed tooth paste such as “Prevident 5000”, which you can replace with your OTC tooth paste. However, it is important to consult your dentist prior to getting any fluoride treatment or prescription, because too much fluoridation can have a severe side effect as well; too much fluoride can be toxic to your body. It is important to have the RIGHT amount of fluoride.