Fluoride is a mineral that can prevent cavities in both adults and children. It can also treat the early stages of tooth decay. This is one of the reasons why fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses are highly recommended.
But if a patient has an increased risk of developing tooth decay, a professional fluoride treatment may be necessary. This treatment involves the application of a fluoride preparation with a much higher concentration than what you can find in a store-bought toothpaste. These treatments may be recommended every 3 to 12 months, depending on your oral health status.
Fluoride treatments only take a few minutes. The dentist will first dry your teeth, and then the fluoride will be applied as a varnish, foam or gel. You may have to wear a tray that is similar to a mouthguard for a few minutes, or the fluoride can be applied with a brush.
You will have to refrain from eating, drinking, or rinsing your mouth for about 30 minutes, post-treatment. This is so that the fluoride can set into the teeth and help repair damage caused by the tooth decay.