Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral which is found in the public water supply as well as in some foods. It is useful for dental health as it hardens tooth enamel and increases resistance to decay.
How Can Fluoride Help Teeth?
Every day your teeth come under attack due to acids produced by bacteria in your mouth during a process called de-mineralisation. This occurs whenever you eat something high in sugars or starches. The acid has the effect of softening the enamel so it is less resistant to decay. The impact is slightly reduced as the mouth becomes less acidic which prompts a process called re-mineralisation. Fluoride is useful because it helps speed up re-mineralisation and also disrupts acid production.
Fluoride treatments can be helpful for children and adults more at risk of developing tooth decay. Fluoride is important for children between the age of six months and 16 years as this is when the primary and permanent teeth come through. However adults can also benefit from fluoride as part of an on-going preventative treatment plan.
We can provide a professional strength mouthwash after routine check-ups. This is simply swirled around the mouth for a minute before spitting out the excess. Alternatively, fluoride can be given in mouth trays which are applied to the teeth for a few minutes. Fluoride can also be painted onto the teeth and left to penetrate the tooth enamel or your dentist can prescribe fluoride supplements in liquid or tablet form.