Fluoride is the most effective agent available to help prevent tooth decay. It is a mineral that is naturally present in varying amounts in water. The benefits of fluoride have been well known for over 50 years and supported by health organization.
Fluoride works in two ways:
Topical fluoride strengthens the teeth once they have erupted by mineralising, making the teeth more resistant to decay.Fluoride is present in dental products such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, and gels. Dentists and dental hygienists generally recommend that children undergo fluoride application twice a year.
Systemic fluoride strengthens the teeth that have erupted as well as those that are erupting. systemic fluoride is implicated in the food and water we consume. It is also available as a supplement in the form of drop or tablet.Generally, fluoride drops are recommended for infants, and tablets for children . It is very important to monitor the amounts of fluoride a child ingests. If too much fluoride is consumed while the teeth are developing, a condition called fluorosis (white spots on the teeth) may result.
Although most people receive fluoride from food and water, sometimes it is not enough to help prevent decay. Your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend the use of home and/or professional fluoride treatments for the following reasons:
Remember, fluoride alone will not prevent tooth decay! It is important to brush at least twice a day, floss regularly, eat balanced meals, reduce sugary snacks, and visit your dentist on a regular basis.