fluoride treatment

Fluoride is an important weapon in your fight against cavities, and your dentist can help.


What is Fluoride Treatment?

Preventing tooth decay and achieving optimal oral health requires you to be consistent with a high-quality oral hygiene routine. This routine should include brushing twice per day, flossing at least once per day, and going to the dentist for checkups twice a year. Following these basic recommendations are essential for good oral health. 

Another oral care recommendation you will receive as you talk to your dentist is to include fluoride treatment as part of your oral care routine. There is a lot of debate surrounding the use of fluoride for teeth to help prevent decay and promote healthy teeth. Fluoride treatment, fluoride benefits for teeth, fluoride treatment for kids, and a long list of other fluoride-related topics have extensive research available to back the recommendations for fluoride use made by the CDC, ADA, and most dentists.


The Benefits of Fluoride Treatment


There are several common questions about the benefits of fluoride. ‘What does fluoride do for your teeth?’ ‘Why is fluoride good for teeth?’ and ‘Why is fluoride important?’ The most important factor to remember about fluoride treatment is that it helps protect your teeth from decay. Fluoride is an important weapon in your fight against cavities. When it comes to fluoride and children, ingesting it through fluoridated water and fluoride supplements can help strengthen developing teeth from the inside. A combination of topical and systemic fluoride intake can provide you with the benefits of fluoride treatment.


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Fluoride Treatment for Kids

The effectiveness of fluoride application for children is something that you can learn about by looking at the history of fluoridated water in the United States. Grand Rapids, Michigan, was the first state in the US to put fluoride in the public water supply. Within five years, the school-aged children in Grand Rapids showed a significantly lower rate of cavities than the children in nearby towns that did not have fluoridated water. Children who are over the age of six can use a small amount of fluoride toothpaste each day to help prevent cavities. If your child is prone to getting cavities, the dentist may recommend in-office fluoride treatment and/or fluoride supplementation.

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How to Get the Fluoride You Need

Before you answer the question, ‘what is fluoride treatment?', it helps to know the basics of fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that can help prevent cavities and even repair teeth in the earliest stages of developing cavities. There are two main ways that you can get the fluoride you need to keep your teeth healthy: topically and systemically.

Topical Fluoride Treatment

Topical fluoride treatment is the process of applying fluoride to the surface of your teeth. You can get topical fluoride treatment daily by using fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash. There are a variety of options for fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash. All top brands offer fluoride options, and some offer fluoride toothpastes and mouthwashes specifically for children. You can also get topical fluoride applied at the dentist. This type of application provides a much higher concentration of fluoride than what you find in over-the-counter options. 

Systemic Fluoride Treatment

Systemic fluoride treatment involves ingesting (swallowing) fluoride. You can drink water that is supplemented with fluoride – fluoridated water – or take fluoride supplements. Fluoridated water can be found in some bottled water – you can look on the label to check if your favorite bottled water includes fluoride – and there are many states and local communities that add fluoride to the public water supply. 


The Best Toothpaste for Preventing Cavities

A key component to properly brushing your teeth is using the correct type of toothpaste. A toothpaste that contains fluoride is the most effective kind when it comes to preventing cavities. Fluoride, a mineral in nature, works well to prevent cavities by remineralizing tooth enamel in areas where the enamel has weakened. Brushing your teeth regularly with fluoride-containing toothpaste strengthens the overall tooth enamel and fortifies your teeth against harmful plaque.

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If you’re suffering from cavity symptoms, consult your dentist to discuss the best methods for cavity prevention and treatment.


Are Fluoride Treatments Effective?

The incremental introduction of fluoride into the water supply around the country allowed researchers to measure the impact of fluoride on the development of cavities. As fluoride use increased around the country, the incidence and severity of cavities both declined. Using fluoride products and getting fluoride treatment at your dentist can be part of an effective dental care routine. However, it is important to remember that fluoride alone is not enough to protect your teeth from all threats. You still need to brush, floss, and go to the dentist regularly to protect against tooth decay and gum disease.  


Should I get a fluoride treatment at the dentist? The answer to this question depends on the details of your oral health and history. If you are prone to cavities or have been treated for cavities in the past, then your dentist may recommend in-office fluoride treatment during your routine dental visits. Some dentists include in-office fluoride treatment during routine cleanings and exams. If you are interested in getting fluoride treatment at the dentist, ask about it the next time you go in for one of your preventative checkups.

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Got questions?


We’ve got answers to all of your fluoride treatment questions. Browse our FAQs here or give us a call at 1-800-SMILEGEN.


It’s critical to be aware of the guidelines for eating following fluoride treatment. ‘How long after fluoride treatment may I eat?’ you might wonder after your regular dentist appointment and fluoride treatment. The typical guideline for eating following fluoride treatment is based on when you should eat, not what you should consume.

You should not only inquire about “what may I eat after fluoride treatment?” but also “how long can I eat after fluoride treatment?”

The most common guideline is to wait at least 30 minutes after receiving fluoride therapy before eating. In some cases, however, you may be advised to wait four to six hours following fluoride treatment before eating. The sort of fluoride treatment you receive and your situation will determine the specific suggestion you receive.

At the 30-minute mark following fluoride treatment, drinking lukewarm water is acceptable. Many people ask, ‘how long after fluoride can I drink coffee?’ after fluoride treatment, hot liquids need a longer wait period. Allow time for the topical fluoride treatment to seal your teeth before consuming any beverages that could discolor your teeth or obstruct the process.

Brushing your teeth after fluoride treatment should be done according to the same guidelines as eating and drinking. You don’t want to clean your teeth too soon after applying fluoride since you can accidentally scrub away the fluoride. To avoid washing the fluoride off your teeth, wait four to six hours before brushing.

When a child’s first tooth appears, he or she can receive their first fluoride treatment. Fluoride treatments can be advantageous throughout a person’s life, from childhood to maturity.

Fluoride is added to tap water and some bottled water in the United States. As people go about their daily lives, this provides a modest amount of fluoride. Unfortunately, the amount of fluoride in the water supply is insufficient to get the full advantages. Fluoride therapy during regular dental appointments can help you get the most out of fluoride’s benefits for your overall oral health. Professional fluoride treatment should be done at least twice a year for everyone with natural teeth.


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Healthline. (n.d.). Fluoride Treatment: What to Expect and When It’s Used. https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/fluoride-treatment#recommendations 

Medical News Today. (n.d.). What to Know About Fluoride Treatment. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327168#effectivity 

WebMD. (n.d.). Fluoride Treatment: What to Expect. https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/fluoride-treatment 

Colgate. (n.d.). Fluoride Treatments: What to Expect. https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/fluoride/fluoride-treatments