tough teeth, healthy smile
Fluoride is a chemical compound naturally found in many foods and water that helps strengthen teeth as well as prevent and reduce tooth decay and sensitivity. In addition it may be applied to your teeth by your dentist or used at home in a mouthwash or toothpaste. Fluoride is needed daily throughout life to protect teeth against decay and is most easily applied through brushing with fluoride toothpaste and drinking fluoridated water – bottled water contains little to no fluoride. The most important time to apply some fluoride at home is before bed as the flow of saliva (which protects teeth against decay) is lowest during sleep.
It is important that children have fluoride in limited amounts, such as in drinking water, as this will help them develop strong teeth as they grow. Fluoride is essential for developing children’s permanent teeth. The popularity of bottled water has led to some children not getting enough fluoride to build strong teeth and bones.
macquarieDentists may apply a fluoride solution to teeth to help in the prevention of decay and maintenance of a healthy mouth. The very best time in life to do this is when our teeth are growing and first coming in to the mouth. At this stage, the tooth structure is still ‘open’ like a sponge, and takes the fluoride in better, making the tooth structure stronger and more resistant to forming holes. macquarieDentists will usually, therefore, not apply fluoride each time you or your child visits us. It will be applied when teeth are newly erupting in the mouth, or if a patient is having problems with much tooth decay. This is a simple and pain-free treatment that involves cleaning the teeth and application of fluoride varnish to the teeth using a tiny brush, similar to a nail polish brush.
macquarieDentists will often recommend a fluoride treatment for children who are also having fissure sealants to protect teeth and prevent tooth decay.