Fluoride has been proven effective in helping to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride, in very small concentrations, naturally occurs in well water in some areas, and is artificially injected into urban drinking water in other areas. There is little or no fluoride in the drinking water in the greater Idaho Falls area. As an alternative, 'Topical Fluoride' is often used to help fight cavities. Topical Fluoride is not ingested as with drinking water, but is placed on the outer enamel surfaces of teeth in order to harden the enamel against acid attacks the initiation of tooth decay. There are several vehicles by which topical fluoride is applied. It is present in most toothpastes. Some over-the-counter mouth rinses have fluoride. There are prescription strength fluoride rinses, toothpastes and gels. Topical fluoride treatments are routinely done during check-up and cleaning visits for children at the dentist office. A relatively new product, called fluoride varnish, can be placed on decay prone areas on teeth at the dentist office. When used properly, fluoride is still one of the best decay fighting techniques we have in dentistry today.