There are two common types of professionally applied fluorides. Acidulated phosphate fluoride (APF) is acidic; neutral sodium fluoride is not. They can be delivered as rinses, gels or varnishes. We believe that the benefits of fluoride should be standard of care. Dr.Gogate offers fluoride treatment after cleanings to ALL his patients irrespective of insurance coverage.
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. This is an advantage of varnish over gel or foam. Varnish also contains a very strong concentration of fluoride. Topical fluoride comes in a variety of flavors, but it should never be swallowed.
Enamel is the outer layer of the crown of a tooth (the visible part). It is made of closely packed mineral crystals. Every day, the enamel loses and gains minerals. The loss of minerals is called demineralization. Gaining new minerals is called remineralization. These two processes balance each other.
Demineralization begins with the type of bacteria that cause plaque on your teeth. These bacteria feed on sugar in your mouth and produce acids. The acids dissolve the crystals in your teeth. Remineralization builds the enamel back up. In this process, minerals such as fluoride, calcium and phosphate are deposited inside the enamel. Too much loss of minerals without enough repair of the enamel leads to tooth decay.