Fluor is a natural element that strengthens teeth and prevents their deterioration. Experts believe that the best way for the prevention of dental caries, is through the use of fluoride from multiple sources. Fluor in small amounts is naturally occurring in most water sources. It is also found in foods such as meat, fish, eggs and tea. In some areas Fluor is added to the water in the form of fluoride. Many toothpastes, mouthwashes and dental professional treatments contain Fluor. Fluoride tablets are frequently prescribed to children who do not drink fluoridated water.
Dental enamel is the visible outer layer of the tooth crown and consists of closely packed crystals of minerals. Some dental enamel is naturally lost every day as a standard process, much like losing skin cells. Mineral loss (demineralization) and the acquisition of new minerals (remineralization) are the two processes which balance each other. Fluor strengthens teeth by accelerating the remineralization and prevents bacteria from producing acids which would eat your teeth. As your teeth become stronger it becomes harder for the acids that break down tooth enamel.
Fluor is given to babies as their teeth are growing. If a child is subject to caries an additional intake of Fluor is frequently prescribed. It is recommended that products with Fluor be used at bedtime as its protection will have a better chance of bonding with the teeth during the night when there is less chance of being removed by the process of eating and drinking.
When used properly Fluor is safe and effective, but a large dose can be harmful. It is recommended that you consult your doctor or dentist before a child uses toothpaste or mouthwash containing Fluoride. An excessive intake of Fluor in a child can cause nausea or the development of spots on their newly forming teeth.