Fluoride Treatments and Products You Should Know About

Fluoride isn’t a kids-only decay-prevention aid. Adults can benefit from fluoride, too, particularly 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.

Most people know there is fluoride in the water in Phoenix, but there are other ways for adults to get the decay-fighting fluoride. “We advise people on the fluoride product that is most likely to be used and most effective for their needs,” says Dr. Carol Ford. Many people ask me about fluoride in bottled water,” says Dr. Ford, ”There is no standard, so amounts can vary from brand to brand. It’s good to know what’s in your drinking water, and you can’t guess the amount from where the water was bottled. Check the label or phone the bottling company if you drink bottled water.”

According to WebMD.com, a medical-information site, the optimal fluoride amount in drinking water is 0.7 to 1.2 parts per million.


Many fluoride products are available, both in over-the-counter products and by prescription.  WebMD.com, 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.”

In the dental office, fluoride can be applied as a gel, foam, or varnish. These methods contain higher quantities of fluoride than over-the-counter methods. 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, as their name implies, adhere to the teeth longer than gels or foams. Varnishes are particularly useful for spot application, in areas that are difficult to reach.

Fluoride can also be taken as a dietary supplement pill prescribed by your dentist. If you need to apply fluoride to the root area of your teeth or bridgework, you can buy fluoride-treated dental floss, assuring a bright smile and a healthy mouth.


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