Fluoride is a mineral that can be found in food and water. The enamel layer of our tooth loses and acquires minerals every now and then through the process of demineralization and remineralization. Minerals are lost when bacteria forms in the tooth. Minerals are added to your teeth during intake of food and water that contains fluoride, calcium, and phosphate. It is now common knowledge that fluoride plays a crucial role in the maintenance of healthy teeth.
Fluoride comes in various forms. Aside from food and water, it comes in the form of toothpastes and mouthwashes. Most toothpastes on the market now contain fluoride, including those meant specifically for whitening.
Your dentist can also apply fluoride to your teeth during a dental fluoride treatment. The fluoride may come in gel, foam or varnish form. This procedure has a higher fluoride content than those found in toothpastes and mouth rinses.
Fluoride gels can be painted on your teeth or applied through a standard or custom moulded mouth guard. Fluoride foams are applied to the mouth guard and then applied to the teeth for anywhere between one to four minutes. Fluoride varnishes are painted on the teeth.
Fluoride supplements are also available in liquid and tablet form. However, they should only be prescribed by your dentist or health care provider.
The time when fluoride intake is most vital is during the formation of the primary set of teeth. The best years to be exposed to fluoride are between 6 months to 16 years of age. Adults can also benefit from fluoride as this can strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay. There are also special conditions where people are in need of addition fluoride treatment. Those who are in an increased risk of tooth decay are listed below:
When taken as directed, fluoride is safe and effective. However, excessive amounts of fluoride can be hazardous when taken in high doses so it is important to keep fluoride out of reach to children especially those who are under 6 years of age.
Too much fluoride can negatively affect the tooth’s enamel as it might cause discolouration. Do not forget to regularly visit your dentist to maintain your oral health and ask the dental experts at SunnyView Dental about fluoride treatment during your next dental visit.