Fluoride is nature’s cavity fighter. It’s effective in preventing and reversing the early signs of dental caries. It inhibits demineralization of tooth enamel.
Fluoride is obtained in two forms: topical and systemic.
Topical fluoride application is recommended for both pediatric and adult patients. It strengthens the teeth making them more decay-resistant. Topical fluorides can be found in toothpastes, mouth rinses and professionally applied fluoride varnishes or foams.
Systemic fluorides are those that are ingested into the body and become incorporated into forming tooth structures. Fluoride supplements – tablets, drops and lozenges are available by prescription only. They are intended for use by children ages six months to 16 years that drink non-fluoridated water and are at high risk for developing tooth decay. For optimum benefits, per American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, use of dietary fluoride supplements should begin when a child is six months old and be continued daily until the child is 16 years old.
Parents must monitor daily intake of fluoride supplements. Systemic fluoride intake is absolutely safe but only in dosage recommended by your dentist.