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Dental caries (tooth decay ) is caused by the bacteria which produce acid around the teeth and gums and forming the plaque. Without good oral hygiene and proper dental care your teeth would become vulnerable to tooth decay. Fluoride is good for dental health as it can prevent tooth decay and plaque formation. Fluoride is a mineral that helps in preventing the tooth decay and can repair the teeth in the very early stages of the dental diseases. Fluoride can be in two different forms which are topical and systemic.

Topical fluoride are applied directly to root canal. The most prominent example are fluoride toothpastes and mouthrinses. The fluoride can also be found in the fluoride treatment in the dental office. Systemic fluoride are those that are swallowed . Examples for the systemic fluoride are fluoridated water and dietary fluoride supplements. The effective way to reduce the dental caries is to mix the both topical fluoride and systemic fluoride.

Fluoride given by a dentist are usually stronger concentration than that in the toothpastes or fluoride mouthrinses that are available in the pharmacy and stores. Usually the professional treatment involving fluoride takes a few minutes. The fluoride may be in a form of gel, foam or varnish. Typically it is applied to cotton swab or brush or it is used as a rinse or placed in tray. Usually after the treatment dentist asked you to not to rinse, eat or drink for 30 minutes as it would take time to settled down.

Fluoride treatment varies with your oral health status usually it would be recommended every 3,six or twelve months. Fluoride is an efficient way to prevent cavities in the teeth but dentist may also recommend other preventive measures also like sealant. These measures can reduce the rate of tooth decay and can prevent the chances of the formation of plaque in the tooth.

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Dr. Renju Anil graduated from Calicut University.

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