Your son or daughter brushes those teeth twice a day, flosses regularly, and visits 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 child’s teeth healthy and strong?
Fluoride is effective in preventing cavities and tooth decay by coating teeth and stopping plaque from building up and hardening on the tooth’s surface.
Fluoride comes in two varieties, systemic and topical:
- Systemic fluoride is ingested. While teeth are forming under the gums, the fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, which makes it stronger and more resistant to cavities.
- Fluoride can also be applied topically to help prevent caries (cavities) on teeth. It is delivered through toothpaste, mouthwash, and professional fluoride applications. Professional application of topical fluoride gel and varnishes is also a valuable tool in cavity prevention.
Receiving a fluoride treatment from your dentist
A fluoride treatment in our office takes just a few minutes. After the treatment, patients may be asked not to rinse, eat, or drink for at least 30 minutes in order to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride. We may also prescribe at-home fluoride products such as mouthwash, gels, or antibacterial rinses.
How to choose the right fluoride treatment
When choosing an at-home fluoride product (such as toothpaste or mouthwash), always check for the Canadian Dental Association's (CDA) seal of acceptance. Products marked with the CDA seal of approval have been carefully examined and approved by the CDA based on safety and effectiveness.