Dental office fluoride treatments commonly are given to children as their teeth are developing. A child who has a history of cavities or is at high risk of decay may need additional fluoride. This promotes remineralization of the teeth. Many children get fluoride treatments every six months. The treatments provide extra protection against cavities, even if children already drink fluoridated water.
Fluoride treatments help to prevent decay in both children and adults. Anyone who is at risk of dental decay is a good candidate for topical fluoride treatments. This fluoride is applied directly to the teeth.
Fluoride is applied as a varnish during a dental appointment. The teeth are dried so the fluoride doesn’t become diluted. Fluoride varnish can be painted directly on parts of the teeth that are most likely to get a cavity, to strengthen them. Varnish also contains a very strong concentration of fluoride. Topical fluoride comes in a variety of flavors, but it should never be swallowed.