Fluoride is the most effective agent available to help prevent tooth decay.
How does fluoride help prevent tooth decay?
Topical fluoride strengthens the teeth once they have erupted by seeping into the outer surface of the tooth enamel, making the teeth more resistant to decay.
Dentists and dental hygienists generally recommend that children have a professional application of fluoride twice a year during dental check-ups. Although most people receive fluoride from food and water, sometimes it is not enough to help prevent decay.
Your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend the use of fluoride treatments for the following reasons:
- Deep pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces of teeth
- Exposed and sensitive root surfaces
- Fair to poor oral hygiene habits
- Frequent sugar and carbohydrate intake
- Inadequate exposure to fluorides
- Inadequate saliva flow due to medical conditions, medical treatments or medications
- Recent history of dental decay