Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. It also reverses early decay.
The daily use of a fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinses are an important part of a successful oral home care program. Mouth rinses and tooth paste containing fluoride in lower strengths are available over-the-counter. But relying on these products alone may not be enough.
In children under six years of age, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to destroy the mineral layers on the teeth. Newer evidence suggests that fluoride treatments can be more beneficial for adults than was previously thought. If you, or a family member, are at a moderate-to-high risk of developing caries, a professional fluoride treatment can help.
The professional fluoride preparation used in the dental office is a much stronger concentration than that in toothpastes or fluoride mouth rinses that may be available in a store or at a pharmacy. Depending on your oral health status, fluoride treatments may be recommended every three, six or 12 months.