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Why Fluoride is Important for Your Teeth Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in many foods and water. Each day, minerals are lost and added to the enamel layer of the tooth through two processes known as remineralization and demineralization. The enamel layer of the tooth loses minerals when acids formed by sugars and plaque bacteria in the mouth attack the enamel. Minerals like fluoride calcium and phosphate are redeposited to the enamel when we eat food and drink water. Tooth decay occurs due to demineralization without sufficient remineralization. Fluoride prevents tooth decay by enhancing the tooth’s resistance to acid attacks that include sugars and plaque in the mouth. Fluoride thus helps to reverse tooth decay. Fluoride is included in the development of permanent teeth in children who are under six, which makes it difficult for the acids to demineralize the teeth. Fluoride also aids in quickening the process of remineralization and also reducing the production of acid in teeth which have already erupted in both adults and children. Fluoride can be applied to the teeth directly through fluoridated mouth rinses and toothpaste. Mouth rinses which have fluoride in lower concentrations can be purchased over the counter. If one requires a more powerful concentration; they have to get a prescription from a dentist. A dentist may also apply fluoride in their office for a gel, foam or varnish. These treatments have a higher level of fluoride than that found in mouth rinses, and toothpaste. Additionally, there are fluoride supplements which are available in tablet or liquid form and the pediatrician, dentist or family doctor has to prescribe them. It is important that babies and children who are between six months and sixteen years are exposed to fluoride. In this time frame, the primary and permanent teeth develop. But, fluoride also benefits adults. New studies have shown that topical fluoride which is found in fluoride treatments, mouth rinses, and toothpaste are as vital in strengthening growing teeth as in fighting tooth decay. There are people who have a higher risk of experiencing tooth decay who would benefit greatly from fluoride treatment. They include those with dry mouth circumstances, people with gum disease also called periodontitis, those with a history of cavities that occur often and those that have crowns or braces.
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Fluoride is efficient and safe when used as instructed by the dentist but it may be harmful if consumed in high doses which are at toxic levels. Because of this, It’s vital that parents manage how their children use products that have fluoride. They ought to take precautions to keep fluoride products from the reach of their kids, particularly those that are under sixteen. More to this, excess fluoride may lead to defects in the tooth’s enamel.Health – Getting Started & Next Steps