Adding Fluoride Treatments to Your Dental Routine

If most of your drinking water comes bottled or from a source that uses reverse osmosis, you may not be getting enough fluoride to protect your teeth. According to, a medical-information site, the optimal fluoride amount in drinking water is 0.7 to 1.2 parts per million.

Best_DentistSurprising as it sounds, adults need fluoride, especially if they have dry mouth due to antihistamines, allergy medication and anti-anxiety drugs. “People with gum disease are candidates for fluoride treatments,” says Dr. Carol Ford from her Phoenix dental office. “Gingivitis—gum disease—exposes the base of the tooth, making it vulnerable to plaque and decay,” Dr. Ford adds.

The city of Phoenix water supply contains fluoride, but adults who need additional amounts can get decay-fighting fluoride in several ways.  “The best fluoride product for you is the one you will use regularly, so ease of use is important,” says Dr. Ford.

Many fluoride products are available, both in over-the-counter products and by prescription., says fluoride “can also be directly applied to the teeth through fluoridated toothpastes and mouth rinses. Mouth rinses containing fluoride in lower strengths are available over-the-counter; stronger concentrations require a doctor’s prescription.”

Dentist-applied fluoride treatments can deliver a higher amount of fluoride in a more direct application than over-the-counter solutions. In your dentist’s office, you will have the choice of gel, foam, or varnish. Gels are painted on or applied via trays that fit over the teeth. Foams, which are applied using a tray, stay on for one to four minutes. Varnishes are painted on, and stay on the teeth longer than gels or foams. Varnishes are particularly useful for spot application, in areas that are difficult to reach.

Your dentist can also prescribe fluoride as a dietary supplement in the form of a pill. if you need to apply fluoride to the root area of your teeth or bridgework, or between your teeth, you can buy fluoride-treated dental floss. And flossing is an important part of your bright smile and healthy mouth.

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