Using Fluoride to Protect Your Teeth

You floss and brush your teeth twice a day 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 and helps to resist tooth decay?

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. This hardened surface helps to resist the acid softening of the enamel and root surfaces.

Fluoride comes in two varieties, systemic and topical:

  • Systemic fluoride is ingested, ideally through a public water supply, but in a tablet or drop form here in most of Greater Nashua region as it is not currently in Nashua's public water systems. 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 treatment during your professional hygiene cleaning and examination takes less than a minute. There a different types of flouride treatments, rinse, foams, varnish. Varnish has really come a long way and we find the best time to apply flouride is right after your teeth are cleaned allowing for maximum uptake and absorption helping with caries control and sensitivity concerns. Flouride Varnish is great for kids and adults alike. What is different about varnish is you can eat and drink(not hot) right away! This is unlike the rinse or foam methods which you must wait at least 30 minutes.Dr Bobbitt highly recommends flouride varnish treatments at each of your professional hygiene visits.  He may also prescribe an at-home fluoride product such as a mouthwash, gel, or antibacterial rinse.

How to choose the right fluoride treatment

When choosing your own at-home fluoride product (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!