Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water. Everyday minerals are lost and added to tooth enamel. Minerals are lost when acids formed from plaque bacteria and sugars attack the enamel. In the same way minerals as calcium, fluoride and phosphates are deposited to the enamel layer from food and water.
Too much minerals lost without enough redeposit ion leads to tooth decay.
Fluoride makes the tooth more resistant to decay by acids.
In children less than 6 years of age fluoride becomes incorporated in the development of teeth making it difficult for acids to de-mineralize the teeth.
In what forms is fluoride available?
As we said before, fluoride is available in food and water; it can also be directly applied through fluoridated toothpaste and mouth rinses.
In the Dental Montreal clinic, we apply fluoride to the tooth in the form of gel, foam or varnish; these forms have a much higher concentration of fluoride than that found in the toothpaste.
When is the fluoride intake most critical?
It is certainly important for infants and children between the age of 6 month and 16 years to be exposed to fluoride which is the time the primary and permanent teeth are forming.
However adults benefits from fluoride too, as it was found to be beneficial in fighting tooth decay as well as strengthening developing teeth.
Are there risks associated with fluoride use?
Fluoride is safe and effective when used as directed but can be hazardous when used in high doses.
Excess fluoride can cause defects in tooth that ranges from white specks to brown discoloration which is known as fluorosis; it usually starts in children less than 6 years when their teeth are forming.
Staining by fluorosis cannot be removed by regular hygiene, but our specialists can lighten or remove these stains with professional strength abrasives and veneers.