The natural fighter against caries

Caries have been unpleasant and unavoidable. But in recent decades, tooth decay has declined rapidly. Cause: fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that is in all water sources, including oceans. Studies show that fluoride not only reduces the appearance of caries in children and adults, but also repairs the early stages of tooth decay even when the destruction is invisible.

Local and systemic fluoride
Fluoride taken in two forms: local and systemic. Local fluoride can be found in tooth pastes, mouth wash and its application at the dental clinic.

Systemic fluorides are those that are swallowed. They include water fluoridated ones, dietary supplemental fluorides in tablet form, drops or coated tablets. Systemic fluorides are incorporated into the tooth structure which they form.

The maximum reduction of tooth decay is achieved when fluorides are applicable locally and systematically. Water fluoridation provides both exposure modes.

Fluoridation of drinking water is extremely effective and a cheap method for optimal prevention of caries appearance. Fluoridation of drinking water is proved to reduce tooth decay in children as well as adults. However, not everybody lives in communities with fluoridated water sources, therefor for others fluoride is available in other ways.

Fluoride dietary supplements are available only by prescription and are designated for children from 6 months to 16 years who live in regions with non-fluoridation water. For maximum effectiveness, fluoridation supplements require long-term discipline on a daily basis.

Your dentist may prescribe you the correct dose. The dose depends on the concentration of fluoride in natural drinking water and the child’s age. If the level of fluoride in drinking water at home is not known, the water should be tested for fluoride content, before fluoridation appendices is prescribed. For testing the fluorine content, contact the health sector at regional or national level.

Monitoring the use of fluoride in children
Parents and other caregivers should carefully monitor the use of all dental products that contain fluoride for children younger than 6 years old, because fluoride when ingested more than the amount recommended for children, it is associated with risk of color change to the developing teeth or to the ones who are not developed yet.

Apply a small amount (as peas) of toothpaste with fluoride on the child’s toothbrush before each washing. Children should be supervised when brushing their teeth so that you can make sure the toothpaste is rinsed properly, since it is unhealthy for them to swallow it. Consult a dentist or your child’s doctor if you want to use fluoridation toothpastes before the child is two years old. It should be emphasized that the use of mouth-wash’s containing fluoride, is not recommended for children younger than 6 years old, due to risk of swallowing the liquid.