Topical Fluoride

What is Topical Fluoride?

Topical Fluoride is a natural element which is found as an active ingredient in many dental products such as toothpaste, mouthwash, gels and varnishes. It is used routinely to prevent tooth decay.

Topical Fluoride prevents the loss of minerals from tooth enamel and encourages remineralization. It forms a more acid resistant surface which is less prone to acid attacks by the bacteria.

The use of Topical Fluoride to prevent and control decay has been proven to be safe and effective. Nevertheless, ingestion of excessive fluoride in young children can lead to fluorosis of the developing adult teeth. Fluorosis is usually mild, appearing as white streaks or specks on the tooth surface. In severe cases, the teeth may be pitted and discoloured brown. Check with your paediatric dentist for the right amount of toothpaste to use for your young children. Parents should always dispense toothpaste for their young children to prevent them from swallowing excessive amount.

Application of Topical Fluoride

Professionally applied topical fluoride is a preventive agent that contains fluoride in high concentration. It can come as a gel that is placed on a foam tray and held against the teeth for a few minutes or as a varnish that is painted on the enamel of the teeth. Varnish is useful for young patients and those patients who may not be able to tolerate the foam tray.