During a periodic checkup visit, the dentist may recommend the application of a topical fluoride to help strengthen and protect both a child’s baby teeth and the permanent ones. Topical fluorides can be applied as a foam, gel or varnish. Whatever type is selected, the procedure is quick and painless. Once the teeth are cleaned the fluoride is simply painted on the surfaces of the teeth or placed in a small tray to sit over the teeth for a brief period of time. Some types of fluoride treatment require no eating or drinking for half an hour as the fluoride is absorbed into the surface of the teeth. The dentist and dental hygienist will provide specific and detailed instructions as needed.
Fluoride treatment may also be indicated in adults who are at a higher risk for developing tooth decay.