Using fluoride to protect your teeth

You brush your teeth twice a day, floss regularly, and visit the dentist every six months, but did you know that rinsing with fluoride — a mineral that helps prevent cavities and tooth decay — also helps keep your teeth healthy and strong?

Fluoride is effective in preventing cavities and tooth decay by coating your teeth and preventing plaque from building up and hardening on the tooth’s surface.

Fluoride comes in two varieties, systemic and topical:

  • Systemic fluoride is ingested, usually through a public water supply. While teeth are forming under the gums, the fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, making it stronger and more resistant to cavities.
  • Fluoride can also be applied topically to help prevent caries (cavities) on teeth present in the mouth. It is delivered through toothpaste, mouthwash, and professional fluoride applications.

Receiving a fluoride treatment from your dentist

A fluoride varnish treatment in our office takes just a few minutes. After the treatment, patients are asked not to rinse, eat, or drink for at least 10 minutes and nothing hard, crunchy or hot for 6 hours in order to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride. Depending on your oral health Dr. Callahan or Dr. Nematollahi may recommend you have a fluoride treatment every three, six, or 12 months. Dr. Callahan or Dr. Nematollahi may also prescribe an at-home fluoride product such as a mouthwash or toothpaste.

How to choose the dental products

When choosing your own at-home dental products (such as toothpaste or mouthwash), always check for the American Dental Association’s (ADA) seal of acceptance. Products marked with the ADA seal of approval have been carefully examined by the ADA, and approved based on safety and effectiveness. Take care of your teeth and smile bright with dental fluoride treatments!

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