Fluoride is a mineral that exists naturally in soil, water, and various foods. Fluoride works by strengthening the tooth enamel making teeth stronger and more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. All people ingest the mineral to some extent on a daily basis. In addition, approximately 40% of Canadians receive fluoride in their community water supply.
Although most people receive fluoride from food and water, sometimes it is not enough to help prevent decay. Your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend the use of home and/or professional fluoride treatments for the following reasons:
- Deep pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces of teeth.
- Exposed and sensitive root surfaces.
- Poor oral hygiene habits.
- Inadequate exposure to fluoride.
- Poor saliva flow due to medical treatments, conditions or medications.
- A history of dental decay.