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The Value of Fluoride

The use of fluoride has been a major factor in reducing tooth decay in the U.S. over the last four decades.

Fluoride is a mineral that is absorbed by the tooth making tooth structures stronger which helps reduce tooth decay. Fluoride can be found in the drinking water in most communities, toothpaste, and mouthwashes.

The metro Denver Area drinking water has been fluoridated since the 1950s. Fluoridation is one public health program that actually saves money.

According to the American Dental Association, “Depending on your oral health status, fluoride treatments may be recommended every three, six, or twelve months. Professionally applied fluoride varnishes offer the best protection as the varnish stays in contact longer with the teeth thereby providing longer-lasting protection.

High concentration varnish is painted directly on the teeth. The varnish is not intended to adhere permanently to the teeth. You may drink or eat immediately after the application, but try to avoid hot beverages for a few hours. This method holds a high concentration of fluoride in a small amount of material in close contact with the teeth for many hours. Fluoride varnish has practical advantages (ease of application, non-offensive taste, and use of smaller amounts of fluoride than required for previous gel applications)