Fluoride therapy involves using fluoride to reduce the risk of tooth decay. Fluoride is a mineral that is added to oral hygiene products and the water supply in some communities to protect the teeth and make them stronger. The process usually involves applying fluoride topically to the teeth. This may include having fluoride varnish treatment or rubbing fluoridated toothpaste onto the enamel surfaces of the teeth.
The pros and cons
Fluoride is widely regarded by dentists as one of the most effective ways of protecting the teeth against decay. However, there is a great deal of controversy and debate surrounding the use of fluoride. This is particularly the case when it comes to adding fluoride to municipal water supplies, as some people believe that fluoride can be harmful and others believe every individual should have the choice whether or not to drink fluoridated water.
Most dentists and public health officials support the use of fluoride, and the US Centers for Disease Prevention and Control describe fluoridation as one of the most influential public health initiatives of the 20th century.
Fluoride varnish is routinely applied in Wirral to young children’s teeth as part of an effort to bring down national rates of tooth decay. The procedure is quick and there is no pain involved, as the fluoride is simply painted onto the teeth.
Fluoridated toothpaste is widely available from pharmacies, supermarkets and dental practices. Dentists recommend using fluoridated toothpaste twice a day to strengthen the teeth. Children should use oral hygiene products that are specially designed for young teeth, as they contain a smaller amount of fluoride. In addition to fluoridated toothpaste it is also possible to buy fluoridated mouthwash. If you have any questions about the use of fluoride or concerns about the safety of fluoride, ask your dentist.