What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a natural mineral found throughout the earth, natural water sources, and also in your teeth. Fluoride is commonly found in water supply and is often added to water to reduce tooth decay. Studies have shown that those who have grown up drinking naturally fluoridated water had fewer cavities than those who did not.

What are its benefits?

Fluoride prevents cavities by concentrating in developing teeth of children and helps harden the enamel of adult teeth against acid attack. It slows down the loss of minerals and re-mineralizes weakened tooth enamel. 

What are the different types of treatment?

Fluoride can be administered topically and systemically.

Topical Fluorides:

  • Fluoride varnish (most commonly applied)
  • Fluoride gel
  • Fluoride foam

Systemic Fluorides:

  • Community water
  • Fluoride supplements

Fluoride is also found, and can be applied topically, in toothpastes, mouth rinses and gels.

Who can get fluoride? How many times a year is it recommended?

Fluoride is recommended for caries prevention for both adults and children. Generally, fluoride varnishes can be done 2 to 4 times a year. Fluoride varnish is most commonly placed at your bi-yearly cleaning appointments. Please consult your dentist and/or hygienist for strengths and recommendations.

Are there any side effects from fluoride varnishes?

Fluoride varnish is safe and because it is painted onto the teeth only a small amount is used. Most of the danger associated with fluoride comes from high concentrations of ingestion. In cases where large doses of fluoride are consumed side effects such as dental fluorosis have appeared. Over consumption or swallowing of fluoride may cause upset stomachs.