Fluoride has had one of the greatest influences on public health with its ability to effectively and safely prevent dental decay. Fluoride itself is a naturally occurring mineral that is present in nature. Fluoride has been used in public water supplies for decades with astounding results in preventing decay in people of all ages. Fluoride is also the most important ingredient in toothpastes, which helps prevent against decay.
Another delivery method, which is particularly effective, is in office fluoride varnish application. This is a very safe, easy, and effective method for preventing dental decay and is applied to a patient’s teeth in approximately 30 seconds.
A cavity begins when acid, created by bacteria, is exposed to the tooth and begins a process of demineralization. Luckily, there is a natural process of remineralization which helps stop this process created by bacteria. If the remineralization process occurs in the presence of fluoride, the fluoride ions are integrated into the tooth structure. Once fluoride is imbedded in the tooth, it actually becomes more difficult for the tooth to demineralize and form a cavity. By applying fluoride by way of an in-office varnish, we can effectively strengthen the teeth and allow them to become more resistant to dental decay.