Fluoride offers the most prevention against tooth decay. This mineral is available in nearly all water supplies and food. Fluoride’s benefits have been well documented for over half a decade and enjoy support from lots of professional and health organizations.
Fluoride functions in two ways:
Topical fluoride seeps into the tooth enamel’s outer layer and strengthens the teeth as they erupt, making them highly resistant to decay. Topical fluoride can be obtained by using dental products that contain fluoride, such as mouth rinses, toothpaste, and gels. Dental hygienists and dentists recommend a professional fluoride application twice a year for children.
Systemic fluoride ensures that the erupted teeth and those developing under the gums are strong. Systemic fluoride can be obtained from common foods and water supplies in our community. It is also found in supplements which your dentist or doctor can prescribe. Dentists generally recommend fluoride drops for infants, while tablets are ideal for children and teens.
It’s crucial to take note of the amounts of fluoride ingested by a child. If a child ingests too much fluoride while the teeth develop, it could lead to a condition known as fluorosis (a condition characterized by white spots on the teeth).
Although fluoride can be obtained from food and water by many people, it is sometimes not enough to prevent decay. The use of professional or home fluoride treatments may be recommended by your dental hygienist or dentist for these reasons:
- Deep pits on the teeth chewing surfaces
- Sensitive root surfaces
- Poor oral hygiene habits
- Excessive carbohydrate and sugar intake
- Insufficient exposure to fluorides
- Inadequate flow of saliva as a result of medical conditions, medications, and so on
- Recent dental decay history
Understand that fluoride is not enough for the prevention of tooth decay! You need to floss regularly, brush twice a day, at least, eat balanced diets, and consult your dentist regularly.