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The benefits of fluoride to the natural dentition have been known for decades.
During tooth development, ingesting a proper dose of fluoride either dispensed from a prescription, drinking well water or public water that contain fluoride result in teeth that are far less susceptible to tooth decay caused by bacteria and acid in our food and drinks. In this manner the fluoride is bound to the internal tooth structure.
After a tooth is fully developed the ingestion of fluoride does not improve the internal structure.
Once the tooth has erupted into the mouth the surfaces can be protected by the application of a topical fluoride. At home topical fluoride can be applied just by brushing your teeth with a toothpaste that contains fluoride or using a fluoride mouth rinse.
At our office topical fluorides are applied to tooth surfaces after they are cleaned by the hygienist. Products such as fluoride varnish once painted on the tooth can last 3 to 4 months and have been shown to reduce decay by 30 to 70 percent.
Topical fluoride is a benefit in reducing dental decay at any age.