A fluoride treatment may be recommended for those at risk of developing cavities. Fluoride is a natural occurring mineral found in many foods and water. A balanced level of fluoride is beneficial to your oral health as it helps to prevent cavities and repair teeth that are in the early stages of tooth decay. It does this by making teeth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth.
Fluoride can come in two forms: systemic and topical. Systemic fluoride, such as fluoridated water or fluoride supplements, are swallowed. Topical fluoride treatment includes fluoride toothpastes, mouthrinses and those used by a dental professional. Professionally administered topical fluorides, such as gels or varnishes, are applied by the dentist and left on for about four minutes, usually during a cleaning treatment. For patients with a high risk of dental cavities, the dentist may prescribe a special gel for daily home use to be applied with or without a mouth tray for up to six weeks.