What is Fluoride?
Fluoride helps to prevent tooth decay. It is a mineral that can be found in almost all food and water supplies.
Fluoride works in two ways:
1. Topical Fluoride strengthens the teeth once they have broken through as it seeps into the outer surface of the tooth enamel, making the teeth more resistant to decay. How can we find topical fluoride? In toothpaste, mouth rinses and gels. It is even recommended by dentists that children have an application of fluoride at their twice yearly check up.
2. Systemic Fluoride strengthens both the teeth which have broken through as well as those developing under the gums. We can find systemic fluoride in most food and water supplies. You can buy supplements in drop or gel form.
It is important to monitor how much fluoride a child ingests because if they take in too much when their teeth are developing it may result in a condition called fluorosis.
Why might you need to increase your fluoride intake?
If you have a history of tooth decay
Poor oral hygiene habits
Inadequate exposure to fluorides
Frequent sugar and carbohydrate intake
Sensitive and exposed root surfaces
Inadequate saliva flow due to medical conditions or medications