What is fluoride?.
Fluoride is a mineral that is found all around us in small amounts. It is very effective in protecting against tooth decay
How does it work?
We all have bacteria in our mouths all the time. They live on food that is left in the mouth and produce acids as waste products. The acids attack the teeth by dissolving the minerals in the tooth surface. Luckily minerals in the saliva can remineralise the teeth when the decay first starts but the mending process needs fluoride to work properly.
How does fluoride help?
- When a young child ingests fluoride in small doses, it gets incorporated into the developing teeth making them more resistant to acid attack.
- Fluoride also works directly on the teeth of adults and children by helping to speed remineralisation and disrupt the production of acid by bacteria.
How can fluoride be administered?
- Fluoride in foods , fluoride supplements and fluoridated water are ingested and absorbed into the body. They get incorporated into the developing teeth.
- Topical fluoride products are applied directly onto the teeth in the form of toothpaste, mouthwash or by in office fluoride treatment .
- Fluoride treatments are given in the dental office in the form of gel, foam or varnish.The fluoride used for these treatments is at much higher strength than in mouthwashes and toothpastes.