There are two ways to increase fluoride protection: topical and systemic applications. Topical fluoride is applied directly to and absorbed by the surface of the teeth. It is found in personal oral hygiene products such as toothpastes and mouth rinses, which contain a safe and effective concentration of fluoride to fight tooth decay. These products are rinsed from the mouth without swallowing.
Fluoride can occur in drinking water naturally as a result of the geological composition of soils and bedrock. Fluoridation of community water supplies is simply the precise adjustment of the existing naturally occurring fluoride levels in drinking water to an optimal fluoride level recommended by the U.S. Public Health Service (0.7 – 1.2 parts per million) for the prevention of dental decay.