Fluoride Application in Dentistry

A mineral called fluoride occurs naturally in water and many foods. We lose minerals and we gain minerals everyday in our tooth through two processes re-mineralization and demineralization.

Overview of Tooth Decay

When demineralization is more than re-mineralization, acids attack the enamel of the tooth and cause tooth decay. Poor oral hygiene, active caries, eating disorders, drug or alcohol abuse, lack of regular professional dental care, active orthodontic treatments combined with poor oral hygiene, high levels of caries causing bacteria in the mouth, exposed root surfaces of teeth, dry mouth, poor diet, fillings, tooth enamel decays and if someone undergoes head and neck radiation therapy, are reasons of tooth decay.

Role

  • Fluoride gives tooth more restive power against acid and there by prevents tooth decay from the acidic attacks of sugars and plague bacteria inside the mouth.

  • It slow down the early decay of tooth

  • In children lesser than 6 years old, fluoride helps in formation and development of permanent teeth making it difficult for acids to de-mineralize the tooth.

  • Helps in speeding up acid re-mineralization

  • Cuts off acid productions in erupted teeth of both adults and children.

Topical Fluoride Application in Dentistry:

After a professional cleaning of the teeth a fluoride treatment is given at the dentists office. A foam or fluoride gel placed in mouth shaped trays called duck trays are inserted into the child mouth for his/her mouth to get soaked in fluoride for a few minutes. After this application is administered, the child is asked not to eat or drink anything for half an hour for maximum absorption.

Systemic Fluoride Application in Dentistry:

Those fluorides that are swallowed are systemic fluorides. Examples are dietary fluoride supplements and fluorinated water. All dental caries can be treated both by topical and systemic fluoride application.