Fluoride

Fluoride's Role in Protecting Teeth

Fluoride, a naturally occurring element in water, is key for tooth growth and cavity prevention.

Fluoride works in two ways to prevent tooth decay:

  1. It strengthens tooth enamel, a complex and shiny substance that protects the teeth to resist better the acid formed by plaque.
  2. Fluoride helps teeth that have been damaged by acid to heal or remineralize.

Although fluoride cannot heal cavities, it can reverse low degrees of tooth decay and hence prevent the formation of new cavities.

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests giving these fluoride tablets to children aged six months to 16 years regularly. As your kid develops, the dose will adjust. Supplements should only be given to children who live in non-fluoridated locations or who consume solely non-fluoridated bottled water.

Most kids get enough fluoride via a mix of fluoridated toothpaste, fluoridated water, and fluoride supplements. However, too much fluoride in the permanent teeth before the age of eight can produce enamel fluorosis, discoloration, or mottling. This disorder is ugly but innocuous, and cosmetic operations can often be used to correct it.

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