Fluoride supplements are recommended to prevent tooth decay in children older than six months in areas where the drinking water is low in fluoride.
Fluoride works in two ways: systemically and topically.
Systemic: Fluoride builds into the developing tooth structure making them more resistant to decay. It is most effective when teeth get exposed to small levels of fluoride as they erupt through the gums.
Topical: Fluoride helps repair the early stages of decay by replacing the minerals lost on the surface of the teeth
Brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste is an effective method of reducing dental caries. In areas where the water supply is fluoridated it gives extra protection to teeth. For children under six years of age, only a smear of fluoride toothpaste should be used, and children should be discouraged from swallowing or eating fluoride toothpaste.
Fluoride supplements like these should only be used when recommended by a dentist or a dental therapist. Fluoride tablets are usually recommended where fluoridated water is not available and higher than usual level of decay is occurring in a child and family. It is best to consult with your dentist before use.
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