Consumption of fluoride for healthy teeth and gums
The oral health benefits of fluoride can be experienced when using fluoride in any of the following ways:
Consuming fluoride rich food and water up to the age of 12
Using fluoride based toothpaste
Rinsing with fluoridated mouth wash
Having fluoride gel topically applied on the teeth as an adult
Fortifying community water with fluoride has now become a commonplace practice in many states and is often regarded as the most impressive public health measure useful in preventing cavities and decay.
Reasons why water, toothpastes and other dental products are fluoridated
The main reason why fluoride is added in toothpastes, mouth washes, and even drinking water is that it assists in the remineralization process of teeth. Cavities are formed when the rate at which minerals are lost from your teeth exceeds the rate at which they are replaced.
Fluoridated toothpastes and mouth washes prevent this by forming a protective fluorapatite coating around your teeth. This fluorapatite compound is more resistant to the demineralization effects of acid and plaque in the mouth.
The systematic fluoride – fluoride ingested through food and water, helps build strong teeth in young children whose milk or permanent teeth are still developing. The fluoride consumed through food and water gets absorbed into the blood after passing through the stomach and intestine. This fluoride in the blood stream then attaches itself to calcium found inside the body – bones, teeth, and other occurrences of calcium.
In younger children, fluoride reaches the developing bud and interacts with it in such a manner that the developing tooth’s enamel crystal gets replaced by a compounded crystal carrying fluoride in it (fluorapatite). Now fluorapatite has greater strength and greater resistance to decay than normal, non – fluoridated enamel.
There is also some evidence to prove that fluoride is a powerful antibacterial agent. It negatively impacts the growth and the acid producing capacity of harmful bacteria, thus protecting the teeth against all forms of dental diseases.
Precautions to be taken
The consumption of excess fluoride can severely damage teeth. While it was previously believed that swallowing fluoride was helpful, it has now been established that consuming excess of fluoridated water as well as the accidental swallowing of toothpaste by children can discolor and disfigure teeth, causing dental fluorosis.
It is advisable to make young children understand the complications that swallowing toothpaste can cause. Taking personalized medical advice on the consumption of fluoridated water will help keep the teeth free from any damages that uncontrolled consumption of fluoride may cause.
Listerine, Fluoride Toothpaste: Vox Efx via Compfight cc.
“The relationship between fluoride and good dental hygiene”