We all have heard that kids who do not receive adequate amount of fluoride are at risk of developing tooth decay in the later stages of life as Fluoride makes the tooth enamel resistant to cavities and may even reverse early tooth decay.
Whenever we consume foods like candies, sodas and sticky foods, the bad bacteria in the mouth feast upon the carbohydrates in these foods and remove calcium and phosphate from the teeth. The saliva (spit) contains calcium other minerals which disrupts this attack by coating the teeth and replenishing the lost minerals. If there is fluoride in the saliva – its better news as Fluoride teams up with calcium and makes a structure called "Fluorapetite" which make the enamel much stronger and cavity resistant.
Systemic Fluoride is usually the form that is the Fluoride present in water or taken as a dietary supplement. Topical Fluoride is that which is applied on the surface of the teeth. Most of us are aware of the fluoride present in toothpastes, mouthwashes available in stores. The ones that we use at the dental clinic are stronger and more effective and can be in the form of foams, liquids or gels or varnishes.
The clinical procedure usually involves applying the fluoride solution with a cotton swab or a tray, which is kept in position for 4 minutes after which the remaining solution is cleaned, and the child is asked not to eat or drink anything for 30 minutes. The procedure is repeated after 3, 6 and 12 months depending on the cavity risk status.