Fluoride strengthens the enamel and speeds up remineralization. It also acts as protective agents against bacterial attacks. Fluorides when swallowed enter the bloodstream and form an integral part of the teeth as they develop. Hence teeth become resistant to microbial infections and it is harder for the acids to destroy the enamel.
Fluoride treatments commonly are given to children as their teeth are developing. A child with a history of cavities or is at high risk of decay should use additional fluoride which will remineralize the teeth. These children are advised to get fluoride treatments every six months as it provides extra protection against cavities. Fluoride mouth rinses also can help children with a history of cavities or a high risk of decay.
Fluoride is applied as a gel, foam or varnish during a dental treatment. The teeth are dried so the fluoride doesn't become diluted. The gel is applied by using a tray that looks like a mouth guard for one to four minutes. Normally fluoride varnish can be painted directly on parts of the teeth that are most likely to get a cavity, to strengthen them. Varnish also contains a very strong concentration of fluoride. Although topical fluoride comes in a variety of flavors, it should never be swallowed. After a fluoride treatment don't eat, drink or smoke for at least 30 minutes. This increases the fluoride's contact with the teeth and the impact lasts longer.