Fluoride is a commonly occurring element. In some areas, it is found as a naturally occurring substance in water. In others, it is added to the water supply, although, in large parts of the country there is no available fluoride in drinking water. It is also found in tea and many common foodstuffs. In addition, higher concentrations of fluoride are found in toothpaste, dental mouthwashes, and even dental floss.
Fluoride reacts with the outer enamel layer covering the tooth. Through this reaction it is incorporated into the enamel structure, thus doing, it strengthens the enamel. The tooth is therefore, less susceptible to acid and bacterial attack.
Fluoride is not only used to strengthen teeth but can also be used in certain circumstances to alleviate tooth sensitivity. It is commonly incorporated into dental filling materials to help harden the underlying tooth and prevent sensitivity after a filling is placed. Of course, it is possible to place fluoride-free dental fillings.
In some cases, children are given fluoride supplements to strengthen their adult teeth whilst they are developing and when they erupt.
Fluoride supplements should only be given on the advice of a dental professional.
Our clinic does use fluoride as an adjunct to prevent dental decay. However, we do recognise that some people have concerns in regards to the use of fluoride and we are sensitive in such cases.