Fluoride significantly helps avert tooth decay by means of helping the tooth become more invulnerable to acid attacks from sugars and plaque bacteria present in the mouth.
This mineral also helps reverse early decay.
For a fact, when this mineral becomes consolidated into the development of secondary teeth in kids below the age of six, this makes it hard for acids to demineralize the teeth.
In the same way, it significantly aids in accelerating remineralization and puts off the production of acid in already emerged teeth of both adults and kids.
So, in what forms is this mineral available?
As often stated, this type of mineral is usually found in the water we drink every day and in the foods we consume on a regular basis. This can also be directly applied to the teeth by means of a fluoride-based toothpaste we use when we brush our teeth and when we rinse using fluoride-containing mouthwash daily.
Please take note that oral rinses that contain fluoride in lesser strength can be purchased over-the-counter; however, those that contain strong concentrations need a dentist’s prescription.
Meanwhile, fluoride can be applied to the teeth in the form of foam, gel, or varnish, but this is typically performed by a dentist. Take into consideration that these types of treatments contain a stronger level of fluoride as compared to the amount present in regular oral rinses and toothpastes.
Foams are placed into a mouth protector and then applied to the teeth for about 1 to 4 minutes. Varnishes are painted on the teeth, and gels can be applied through a mouth protector or can be painted on as well. A family doctor, pediatrician, or dentist may also prescribe fluoride supplements that come in the form of tablets or liquids.
When is fluoride intake most crucial?
It is absolutely vital for kids and infants between the age of six months and sixteen years to be exposed to this mineral. The reason behind this is because this is the period during which primary and secondary teeth emerge.
Not only young children benefit from fluoride intake, adults get lots of benefits as well. As a matter of fact, new studies pinpoint that topical fluoride from fluoride treatments, oral rinses, and toothpastes are as valuable in combating dental caries and also in strengthening teeth that are still developing. Those suffering from certain medical conditions may be at higher risk of dental caries and would hence find additional fluoride treatment beneficial.
Risks linked with excessive use of this mineral
Fluoride is effective and safe if used as directed. However, once it is used in high doses, it can be hazardous. Parents must keep fluoride products in the right storage preferably away from kids below six years of age. They should also supervise their child when using products that contain this mineral.
Furthermore, please be reminded that excessive use of this mineral may also cause defects in the enamel of the tooth that vary from hardly-noticeable, white streaks or spots to cosmetically unpleasant brown discoloration which is otherwise known as fluorosis. This emerges at the time the teeth are still developing, so usually this happens to children below six-years-old.