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Fluoride therapy is the delivery of fluoride to the teeth, topically or systemically, to protect them from dental caries (cavities). Strictly speaking, fluoride therapy repairs rather than prevents damage to the teeth, causing the mineral fluorapatite to be incorporated into damaged tooth enamel. In topical fluoride therapies, fluoride is applied directly to the surface of the teeth, most commonly by means of a fluoride toothpaste. Other topical fluoride therapies include fluoridated mouth rinses, lozenges, gels, foams, and varnishes.
In systemic fluoride therapies, fluoride is swallowed as an additive to drinking water, salt, or milk, or as an ingredient in tablets, lozenges, or drops. Where public water supplies are fluoridated, other systemic fluoride therapies are not recommended.
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