The effect of fluoride application on fluoride release and enamel protection was studied using conventional and light-activated glass ionomers and composite. The specimens prepared from the materials were tested as (1) freshly mixed, (2) aged (29 days), (3) aged and fluoride treated, and (4) aged, fluoride treated, and aged (29 days). For fluoride application, the specimens were immersed in 1.2% NaF solution for 10 min and washed. After handling, the specimens were glued on polished bovine enamel slabs and immersed in lactic acid (pH 5.0) for 3 h. The microhardness of the enamel was measured before and after the acid immersion. Freshly mixed glass ionomers significantly prevented enamel softening. The effect disappeared (conventional glass ionomer) or decreased (light-activated glass ionomer) during aging, but was reestablished by fluoride application. After the subsequent 4 weeks of aging, no significant protective effect could be seen for either of the glass ionomers. The fluoride release, which was greatly increased by fluoride application, was still elevated after 4 weeks of aging for both materials.

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