Fluoride, a nature’s gift for your teeth
What is fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral which, when placed on the teeth, makes the enamel harder and more resistant to acid attacks. It is considered as one of the main reasons that contributed to a significant reduction of cavities in the western world in the 20th century! In order for it to be effective though, it should be placed on the teeth on regular basis. The best source of fluoride is in the toothpaste due to its daily and frequent use.
What is fluoride treatment and how often does it take place?
It is the placement of fluoride on the teeth done by a dentist, usually 2-4 times a year, depending on the caries risk of the patient. It is proven to reduce dental cavities by 45% at least!
When does fluoride treatment start?
Fluoride treatment starts around the age of 12-18 months and terminates around the age of 18-20 years, depending on the child’s needs.
Who is it useful for?
Generally all children from the age of one and onwards, since the aim is to prevent and not to treat.
Fluoride treatment is generally useful for patients with a high risk to dental caries such as children who already have caries, children that wear braces and hadicap children. Nevertheless, a dentist will be the one who decides which child at risk or not for dental cavities.
Is it dangerous?
The topical application of fluoride at the right dose in NOT dangerous. However, if your child swallows a large amount of fluoride based toothpaste, fluoridated water or fluoride supplements during its preschool years, then the enamel of the permanent teeth which is undergoing development within the bone, may be affected by fluorosis. This is the only proven side effect from overdosing fluoride systematically.
For more information on prevention procedures click here.