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Fluoride Treatments Protect Precious Teeth

Using Fluoride to Protect Your Teeth

Smiling preteen girl with healthy teeth

You brush your teeth twice a day, floss regularly, 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 the teeth healthy and strong?

Fluoride is effective in preventing cavities and tooth decay by coating the teeth and preventing plaque from building up and hardening on the tooth's surface.

Fluoride comes in two varieties, systemic and topical:

Fluorine periodic table square

  • Systemic fluoride is ingested, usually through a public water supply. While teeth are still 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 like those at New England Kids Pediatric Dentistry, General Dentistry and Orthodontics.

Fluoride Treatments with Your Child’s Dentist

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A fluoride treatment in your children’s dentist's office takes just a few minutes. Afterward, your child may be asked not to rinse, eat, or drink for at least 30 minutes in order to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride. Depending on their oral health or their doctor's recommendation, they may be required to have a fluoride treatment every three, six, or 12 months. Their doctor may also prescribe an at-home fluoride product such as a mouthwash, gel, or antibacterial rinse.

How to Choose The Right Fluoride Treatment

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When choosing a child’s at-home fluoride product (such as a 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 are approved based on their safety and effectiveness. Of course, you can always ask our team for a recommendation as well!

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