Fluoride is a mineral found in soil, water (both fresh and salt) and various foods. It has a positive effect on oral health by making teeth more resistant to decay. Fluoride can also prevent or even reverse tooth decay that has started.
Fluorides are used by communities as a public health measure to adjust the concentration of fluoride in drinking water to an optimum level (community water fluoridation); by individuals in the form of toothpastes, rinses, lozenges, chewable tablets, drops; and by the dental profession in the professional application of gels, foams and varnishes.
The availability of fluorides from a variety of sources must be taken into account before embarking on a specific course of fluoride delivery. This is particularly important for children under the age of 6, where exposure to more fluoride than is required to simply prevent dental caries can cause dental fluorosis. Provided that the total daily intake of fluoride is carefully monitored, fluoride is considered to be a most important health measure in maintaining oral health.
Your dentist is able to assess your child's risk of developing tooth decay and advise you of an appropriate level of fluoride protection.