Fluoride treatment therapy is the delivery of fluoride to the teeth topically or systemically in order to prevent tooth decay (dental caries). Most commonly, fluoride is applied topically to the teeth using gels, varnishes, toothpaste/dentifrices or mouth rinse.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control lists water fluoridation as one of the "ten greatest public health achievements of the 20th century." It is therefore understandable that fluoride therapy would be commonly practiced and in many modalities. Many types of fluoride therapies are known, ranging from at-home therapies (use of fluoridated toothpaste) to professionally administered, such as topical fluorides provided by dental offices. At-home therapies can be further divided into over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription strengths. The fluoride therapies, whether OTC or PATF, are categorized by application – dentifrices, mouthrinses, gels/ foams, varnishes, dietary fluoride supplements, and water fluoridation.