The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends professional fluoride treatment at the dentist's office every 3, 6, or 12 months, depending on your oral health. If you're at high risk of tooth decay, your dentist may also prescribe a special fluoride rinse or gel for regular use at home. Yes, fluoride treatments at the dentist are effective because fluoride is applied directly to the teeth, usually in the form of a gel, foam, or varnish. Direct application allows tooth enamel to quickly absorb fluoride.
New research indicates that topical fluoride (from toothpastes, mouthwashes, and fluoride treatments) is as important for fighting tooth decay as it is for strengthening developing teeth. Because adults are sometimes more at risk of tooth decay than even children, considering fluoride supplements may be one of the best and easiest decisions to prevent costly and painful dental problems. The United States Public Health Service has established guidelines on the amount of fluoride that community drinking water should contain to help prevent tooth decay and minimize the risk of dental fluorosis. While there are no scientific studies to indicate that people who drink bottled water are at greater risk of tooth decay, the American Dental Association (ADA) states that these people may be overlooking the cavity-preventive effects of optimal fluoridated water available in their community's water sources. Eating healthy, drinking water that contains fluoride, and using fluoride toothpaste is a great way to keep up with your fluoride intake. People who live in areas where the water doesn't contain fluoride can get more significant benefits from regular fluoride treatments.
A systematic review reports that fluoride treatments, such as fluoride varnish, have a substantial effect on preventing cavities in primary and permanent teeth. Systemic methods involve ingesting fluoride through food or beverages, with fluoride-containing water being the most common source. In addition to water fluoridation, fluoride is also added to oral care products, such as toothpaste and mouthwashes, and can be given as an in-office treatment in dental offices. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends fluoride treatment for all children as soon as their teeth begin to grow to prevent tooth decay, pain, and future dental infections. For most people, this means drinking tap water with optimal levels of fluoride and brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends the use of professional fluoride varnish for children under 6 years of age. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the ADA recommend that frequent exposure to small amounts of fluoride every day is best for reducing the risk of tooth decay at all ages.