- by Dr. Punyatoya Sahoo
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- Jan 30 2018
Importance of Fluoride for Teeth
Fluoride is a mineral and founds naturally in foods and water. Enamel is the outer layer of the crown of a tooth which is made up of closely packed mineral crystals. Everyday minerals are lost and gained from inside the enamel crystals and the process of losing minerals is called demineralization. Gaining them back is called remineralization.
Losing minerals from teeth begins with the bacteria in the plaque on your teeth. They feed on sugar and other carbohydrates in the mouth and produce acids. The acids dissolve crystals in tooth enamel. Fluoride prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth.
Fluoride is available in foods and water and it can also be applied to the teeth through fluoridated toothpaste and mouth rinses. Fluoride can be applied to the teeth as a gel, foam, or varnish by a dentist. These treatments contain a much higher level of fluoride than the amount found in toothpaste and mouth rinses. Varnishes are painted on teeth, foams are put into a mouth guard which is applied to the teeth for one to four minutes and gels can be painted on or applied via a mouth guard.
Fluoride intake is very important for the infants and children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years as this is the time during which the primary and permanent teeth come in. fluoride fights tooth decay and strengthens developing teeth.
Fluoride can be hazardous if taken in high doses. So it is important to carefully monitor the intake of fluoride in infants and children. Keep fluoride products out of reach of children who are under the age of 6. Excess of fluoride can cause fluorosis, it is a defect in a tooth’s enamel that ranges from barely noticeable white specks or streaks to cosmetically objectionable brown discoloration.
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