Fluoride is an important mineral found in the food you eat. This forms an essential part of your tooth’s enamel along with other minerals like calcium and phosphorus. If there is an imbalance in deposition of these minerals, it can lead to dental caries.
The presence of adequate fluoride is believed to protect the tooth enamel from caries and harmful substances in the food. In dental healthcare, fluoride treatments are commonly used to protect teeth from developing carries.
Dentists may suggest fluoride treatment and is done in a few minutes in a dental office. It appears in the form of paste or gel, which is applied to the teeth with a brush. The areas exposed and at risk of caries need to get coated with fluoride. Hence you would be restricted from eating or drinking anything for the next 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Ideally, fluoride treatments are considered safe and toothpastes containing fluoride are also promoted. However, care should be taken that the fluoride content should not exceed the recommended dosage.
Dental fluorosis is a condition that occurs when there is excess fluoride in the body. When kids use fluoridated toothpaste, mouthwash and other products, care should be taken to prevent them from swallowing it. Fluoride, acts locally and can be harmful when taken internally, so avoid swallowing it. Some studies are researching the effect of fluorinated infant formula and products on the enamel of teeth.
Written by: Dr. Snehal
Edited by: C. Soni