Fluoride is natural occurring mineral that can be found in different types of food and water. Every day, fluoride helps the enamel to receive the mineral lost through the demineralization process. The enamel layer, which is the protective layer of your teeth, loses mineral (demineralization) when acids from sugars in the mouth and plaque bacteria attack it. Minerals such as calcium phosphate and fluoride can remineralize the enamel layer. Too much demineralization without having enough remineralization to repair and protect the enamel layer will lead to tooth decay and a lot of cavities.

What is the link between oral health and fluoride?

Fluoride can prevent tooth decay by increasing the tooth’s resistance to acid attacks resulted from plaque and sugars. Fluoride could also reverse the early stages of tooth decay. Children under 6 years will benefit from fluoride perks, as it will be incorporated into the developing permanent teeth, making it even harder for acids to demineralize them.

Fluoride is known to speed up the remineralization process and disrupt acid production in both children and adults.

How is fluoride available?

Fluoride can be found in foods and water, but it can also be applied directly to the teeth with the help of fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwashes. You can find a large variety of rinses that contain fluoride in lower concentrations. If you want a more fluoridated mouthwash you will require a doctor’s prescription.

Your dentist can apply fluoride to your teeth as a gel, varnish, or foam in their dental’s office. These dental treatments have higher concentrations of fluoride than those in mouth rinses and toothpaste. Foams are put in a mouth guard and applied on your teeth for 1-4 minutes, varnishes are painted on your teeth, and gels can be applied via mouth guard or painted on your teeth.

Another option you have are the fluoride supplements as tablets or liquids, but these must be prescribed by a dentist or pediatrician.

When is it critical to take fluoride?

It is essential for infants and children to be exposed to fluoride between 6 months and 15 years. This is the period in which their primary teeth and permanent teeth develop and come in. However, adults can benefit from fluoride too. Researchers have discovered that mouthwashes, toothpaste, and fluoride treatments can help the fight against tooth decay.

If I suffer from a particular condition can I take fluoride?

The answer is yes. Fluoride does not affect you badly in any way even if you have a certain condition or disease, but in fact, it can help you. For example, if you suffer from dry mouth, which makes your teeth more vulnerable to tooth decay, the fluoride treatments will help you prevent it. Gum disease is another condition that increases your chances of suffering from tooth decay. By using dental products that contain fluoride, you will maintain a good oral health and avoid losing your teeth to periodontal disease.

For more information about fluoride and which products you should use, you can ask your dentist.