Fluoride is a natural mineral that aids in the prevention of tooth decay. It is a constant battle against plaque, bacteria and sugars in the mouth that cause decay. Fluoride is applied to the outer surface of the tooth enamel, making the teeth more resistant to decay.
Fluoride intake is important during a child’s dental development. The consumption of fluoride during tooth development allows the mineral to become incorporated with the growth of the primary and permanent teeth. This helps make the teeth more acid resistant resulting in fewer cavities.
It is important to have the dentist prescribe the proper amount of fluoride supplement based on the child’s age and weight while considering other sources of fluoride. Excess fluoride ingestion by a child may result in permanent marks on the teeth. This is termed Fluorosis. This is also why it is so important with young children, due to their tendency to swallow toothpaste, that only a very small amount be placed on the toothbrush until they learn how to spit out the excess.