The in situ rehardening effect was compared between Cheddar cheese consumption and saliva secretion with and without a fluoride pretreatment on softened human enamel. Ten volunteers wearing prostheses which held slices of human enamel participated in this study. Average microhardness of enamel was determined on the surface at baseline, after exposing to an acidic beverage, after exposing to saliva and mastication of cheese, with and without a mouth F prerinse (10 ml Meridol containing 0.025% F). The rehardening was increased in the groups consuming cheese compared to the saliva controls. The effect was increased by an F prerinse; the initial hardness of the intact enamel surface, however, was not reached.