Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps prevent cavities and tooth decay and helps keep your teeth healthy and strong. It does this by coating your teeth, preventing harmful plaque from building up and hardening on your tooth’s surface. There are two varieties of fluoride that provide this sort of protection:

  • Systemic fluoride – Systemic fluoride is ingested, usually through a public water supply. Various natural sources of drinkable water also contain levels of fluoride that are healthy for your teeth.
  • Topical fluoride – Topical fluoride can be applied topically, directly to your teeth in order to help prevent cavities. Topical fluoride can be delivered through toothpaste, mouthwash, and fluoride applications in our office.


A fluoride treatment within our office only takes a few minutes; after the treatment, we may ask you not to rinse, eat, or drink for at least 30 minutes so your teeth can fully absorb the fluoride. How often you need a fluoride treatment depends on your oral health; we may recommend that you come back to have regular fluoride treatments every 3, 6, or 12 months. We may also prescribe an at-home fluoride product such as an antibacterial rinse, mouthwash, or gel.


  • Fluoride strengthens the tooth enamel (the outer layer of your teeth), making it stronger against plaque and tooth decay.
  • Fluoride, especially topical fluoride, can remain in the mouth, becoming part of the mouth’s saliva. It is in this way that fluoride can continuously bathe the teeth in small amounts to provide further protection.
  • In young children, before permanent teeth have grown in, fluoride can prepare the growing teeth by strengthening its enamel.