Dental Problems

Fluoride for Healthy Teeth

Fluoride for TeethWhat is fluoride?

Fluorides are a large group of chemical compounds formed when fluorine combines with other elements. Fluorides are found everywhere – in soil, air, water, as well as in plant and animal life. That is why most foods contain some fluoride. It is estimated that we all consume a baseline level of about 0.3mg of fluoride daily from food and drink.

Fluoride for teeth:

How does fluoride help teeth?

Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. It also reverses early decay. In children under six years of age, fluoride becomes incorporated into the development of permanent teeth, making it difficult for acids to de-mineralize the teeth. Fluoride also helps speed re-mineralization as well as disrupts acid production in already erupted teeth of both children and adults.

Forms of fluoride

Systemic fluoride:

Fluoride taken internally is systemic. Daily fluoride supplements may be made available as liquid solutions, in tablet form, and in preparations that combine fluoride with vitamins.

Topical fluoride:

This is another way to get fluoride to the teeth – apply it locally. This can either be done professionally by a dentist or you could use a mouthwash or toothpaste.

Fluorosis: Too much fluoride

Excessive ingestion of fluoride during the early childhood years may damage the tooth-forming cells, leading to a defect in the enamel known as dental fluorosis. Teeth with fluorosis also have an increased porosity of the enamel.

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