What is fluoride and why is it good for my teeth?
Fluoride is a natural mineral found throughout the earth’s crust and widely distributed in nature. Some foods and water supplies contain fluoride. Fluoride is absorbed easily into tooth enamel, especially in children’s growing teeth. Once teeth are developed, fluoride makes entire tooth structure more resistant to decay and promotes demineralization, which aids in repairing early decay before the damage is even visible. “Systemic” Fluoride is ingested when added to public and private water supplies, soft drinks and teas, and is available in dietary supplement form.
What’s a “topical” fluoride, and when should I use it?
“Topical” fluoride is found in products containing strong concentration of fluoride to fight tooth decay. These products, included toothpaste and mouth rinses, are applied directly to the teeth and are then expectorated or rinsed from the mouth without swallowing. Dentist recommend brushing with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day or after ever meal, combined with a regimen of flossing and regular dental checkups. For patients with high risk or dental caries professionally-administered topical fluorides is recommended. The topical fluoride comes as a form of gel or varnish and are applied by the dentist and left on for about four minutes, usually during cleaning treatment. Dentist may prescribe a special gel for daily home use, to be applied with or without a mouth tray for up to six weeks.