Tooth decay is caused by acid-producing bacteria that collect around the teeth and gingivae (gums) in a sticky, clear film called “plaque.” Without good daily oral hygiene and regular dental visits, teeth become more vulnerable to tooth decay. Brushing twice a day and cleaning between teeth with floss or another type of interdental cleaner help remove plaque. Regular dental examinations and cleanings also are important for keeping teeth healthy. Another key to good oral health is fluoride, a mineral that helps prevent tooth decay and can repair teeth in the very early, microscopic stages of the disease.
If you, or a family member, are at a moderate to high risk of developing tooth decay, a professional topical fluoride treatment can help. Not all fluoride rinses are created equal. The fluoride used in the dental office is a much stronger concentration than you see in over the counter toothpastes or fluoride mouthwashes. The are four different types of fluoride application types , , fluoride treatments generally take just a few minutes. After the treatment, you will be asked not to rinse, eat or drink for at least 30 minutes to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride and help repair microscopic carious areas.