Diagnostic methods for the use in preventive dentistry are being developed continuously. Few of these find their way into general practice. Although the general trend in medicine is to focus on disease prevention and early diagnostics, in dentistry this is still not the case. Nevertheless, in dental research some of these methods seem to be promising for near future use by the general dental professional. In this paper an overview is given of a method called quantitative light-induced fluorescence or (QLF) in which visible and harmless light excites the teeth in the patient's mouth to produce fluorescent images, which can be stored on disk and computer analyzed. White spots (early dental caries) are detected and quantified as well as bacterial metabolites on and in the teeth. An overview of research to validate the technique and modeling to further the understanding of the technique by Monte Carlo simulation is given and it is shown that the fluorescence phenomena can be described by the simulation model in a qualitative way. A model describing the visibility of red fluorescence from within the dental tissue is added, as this was still lacking in current literature. An overview is given of the clinical images made with the system and of the extensive research which has been done. The QLF™ technology has been shown to be of importance when used in clinical trials with respect to the testing of toothpastes and preventive treatments. It is expected that the QLF™ technology will soon find its way into the general dental practice.