How does topical fluoride work?
Topical fluoride is directly applied to the surfaces of your teeth like a moisturizing cream to your skin. It works by reducing the loss of and increasing the uptake of important minerals to your teeth, and inhibiting decay causing bacteria, thereby preventing tooth decay.
Guidelines recommend for topical fluoride to be professionally applied to your teeth at least twice per year. This can be up to four times in patients with a high risk of tooth decay. Adults and children more than 3 years of age can receive topical fluoride.
There are many forms of topical fluoride that dental professionals can apply to your teeth, ranging from a varnish that is simply coated over your teeth to a gel that is placed in trays over your teeth.
What can I expect at my topical fluoride application?
A dental check up, scaling and polishing, and/or airflow stain removal will usually first be carried out.
Topical fluoride application
Your teeth will then be dried before the topical fluoride is applied. If a varnish is used, it will be directly coated over all your teeth with a brush. If a gel is used, it will held in a soft tray over all your teeth for a few minutes.
After your topical fluoride application is complete, you should not eat, drink and rinse for at least 30 minutes, to enhance the protective effects towards your teeth. Finally, you will be advised by your dentist on how often you should return for future topical fluoride applications.