The most effective adjunctive agent in helping to prevent tooth decay is fluoride. This mineral is naturally present in almost all foods and water supplies. There are 2 distinctly different mechanisms by which fluoride works: topically and systemically.
Topical fluoride strengthens teeth once they have erupted into the mouth by infiltrating the outer surface of tooth enamel, making teeth more resistant to decay. Topical fluoride can be received through toothpaste and mouth rinse, as well as professional applications by a Dentist or Hygienist. Topical fluoride application has value on adults. It is recommended that all children receive 2 applications of topical fluoride per year in conjunction with their regular check ups.
Fluoride alone will not prevent tooth decay.