Topical Fluoride: How Fluoride Works

Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that can actually be used to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities. Here, our Clarenville dentists explain how we use fluoride to protect your smile.

Topical Fluoride Dental Treatment

Fluoride is a mineral that is found in all-natural water sources and is the ionic form of the trace element fluorine, which is commonly found in the environment; fluorine reaches water sources by leaching from soil and rocks into groundwater.

Fluoride is a safe and effective agent to prevent cavities when used as directed by your dentist or as part of your communities water fluoridation program.

How Is Fluoride Good For Teeth?

Over the course of your life, your tooth enamel will constantly go through the demineralization and remineralization process.

Demineralization is the loss of minerals from the enamel. This happens when acids (formed by plaque and bacteria in the mouth) attack the enamel.

During remineralization, minerals like calcium, phosphate, and fluoride are redeposited to the enamel when we drink water or eat certain mineral-rich foods.

If your teeth don't have sufficient remineralization, it can lead to tooth decay which is why it is important to consume the required minerals.

Fluoride, then, helps prevent tooth decay by making teeth more resistant to acid. In some cases, it can also help reverse decay that has already begun.

For children under six years old, fluoride becomes incorporated into the developing permanent teeth, making it more difficult for acids to demineralize them.

When Is Fluoride Intake Most Important?

It is important for infants and children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years to be exposed to fluoride. This is the timeframe during which the primary and permanent teeth are growing in.

Fluoride intake does not stop in your teen years, however. Adults will need to ingest it too. Topical fluoride from toothpastes, mouth rinses, and fluoride treatments are as important in fighting tooth decay as they are for strengthening developing teeth.

Fluoride Treatment At Your Dentist’s Office

Sometimes, the amount of fluoride ingested from water won't be enough to keep your teeth protected. In these cases, your dentist may advise that you apply additional fluoride.

While there are many over-the-counter fluoride toothpastes and mouthwashes, these contain relatively low levels of fluoride.

Stronger concentrations are available by prescription, and your dentist can also apply fluoride treatment in stronger concentrations at your dental clinic.

Fluoride treatment at your dental clinic will typically be a one-time application of a gel, foam, or varnish solution. Varnishes are painted on the teeth, while foams are put into a dental tray and then applied to the teeth for a few minutes. Gels can either be painted on or applied via a tray.

If you would like to book an appointment with our Clarenville dentists to have a fluoride treatment at Elliott Dental Studio, contact us today.

New Patients Always Welcome

Looking for a dentist in Clarenville? We're happily accepting new patients at our dental clinic! Contact us to get started today. 

Request Appointment
(709) 466-3668 Contact