Delivering fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral, to teeth is a common means of protecting them from cavities. Fluoride strengthens teeth, allowing them to better ward off plaque bacteria and sugars. It is generally received through drinking water (in places where public water is fluoridated) and through fluoride toothpastes and mouthwashes.
Fluoridated water and fluoride toothpaste are generally enough for adults, though sometimes we will administer an in-office “varnish” which “paints on” and stays on about 2 times as long as other methods. Occasionally, some will need an even stronger dose of fluoride, which can require a prescription.