Fluoride treatment is mainly administered in the form of a varnish that adheres to the teeth for a period of four to six hours before being removed by brushing. During this time, the fluoride is absorbed into the tooth enamel, providing permanent protection. The active ingredient in most toothpastes is a mineral called fluoride, which helps prevent tooth decay by remineralizing enamel and making teeth more resistant to acid attacks.1Spitting out toothpaste without rinsing it with water will allow the fluoride to remain in your mouth and remain effective.2 It can be difficult to break the habit of rinsing your mouth after brushing, but it may be beneficial to try. Leaving toothpaste residue in your mouth can reduce tooth decay.7 Additionally, if you have had professional teeth cleaning, you may have undergone fluoride treatment.
If you have had an eating disorder, used drugs or alcohol excessively, have poor oral hygiene, dry mouth, weak enamel, or have not received professional dental care in the past, you may need fluoride treatment more often. Speak with your dental provider during your six-month checkup to determine how often you should receive fluoride treatment.