3. Fluoride

Fluoride is an essential trace-element in our system which hardens the dental enamel.

Fluoride makes the teeth resistant against acid attack!

The amount of fluoride that we acquire from our daily diet is mostly insufficient.

An additional fluoride application makes the teeth resistant to acid attack and bacteria. We advise the parents what form of fluoride would best suit their child.

The following methods can be administered for additional fluoride supply.

Local application:

  • Fluoride-containing tooth paste
  • Fluoride varnish or fluoride gel

Systemic application:

  • Nourishment (drinking water with fluoride)
  • Fluoride tablet

 

Questions & Answers

What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a natural mineral that is found in many foods and in some drinking water. The amount of fluoride in the water varies from area to area.

What are the benefits of fluoride?
Fluoride can greatly help dental health by strengthening the tooth enamel, making it more resistant to tooth decay. It also reduces the amount of acid that the bacteria produce on your teeth.

Children who have fluoride when their teeth are developing tend to have shallower grooves in their teeth so plaques can be more easily removed. Plaque is a thin, sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on your teeth. The addition of fluoride to water has been researched for over 5 years, and water fluoridation has been proven to reduce decay by 40-60%.

Where can I find fluoride?
Fluoride is found naturally in many foods and water supplies, and also added to some drinking water supplies.

0.6 to 1 part of fluoride for every million parts of water (0.6- 1ppm) has been shown to have the best effect. All water contains some fluoride. Your local water supplier can tell you the level of fluoride in your drinking water.

What about fluoride in Toothpaste?
Most toothpastes contain fluoride and most people get their fluoride this way. Fluoride toothpaste is very effective in preventing tooth decay. The amount of fluoride in toothpaste is usually enough to lower the level of decay. Parents should supervise their children’s tooth brushing and use only a smear amount of fluoridate toothpaste until they can fully spit and rinse their mouth, and a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste thereafter.

Should my child have extra fluoride?
Your dentist or hygienist can apply fluorides to your child’s teeth. These come as gels and are more concentrated, self-applied fluorides and therefore are not needed as often.

What are the side effects?
‘Dental fluorosis’ is caused by having too much fluoride when the teeth are developing. This can happen when fluoride supplements are taken by children under 7 who live in areas where the water supply is fluoridated.

Fluorosis in its mildest form, appears as very fine pearly white lines or flecking on the surface of the teeth. This mild fluorosis may lead to the enamel being pitted and discoloured. Fortunately, severe fluorosis is rare in Canada.

Is Fluoride safe?
Many reports have been published throughout the world about the pros and cons of fluoride. After many years the scientific conclusion is that fluoride toothpaste and correctly fluoridated water are of great benefit to dental health and help to reduce decay, and cause no harmful side effects to general health.