The fluoridation of the teeth is a measure in which the trace element fluorine is used for the prevention of tooth decay. In addition, it can bring existing, less pronounced tooth damage by decaying to a halt. Fluorides are the salts of hydrofluoric acid. For caries prophylaxis, especially three fluorides play an important role: sodium mono-fluorophosphate, amine fluoride, and stannous fluoride. The use of fluoride varnish technology really proves to be useful here.
Caries is caused by the interaction of caries-causing microorganisms in the plaque, insufficient oral cleanliness, and malnutrition or frequent intake of sugar. Numerous additional influences can favor the formation of caries. Fluoride prevents caries formation through various mechanisms:
Fluoride reacts with the enamel on the surface: The surface of the tooth hardens and forms a covering layer, which protects against bacterial attacks.
The incorporation of the fluoride in the enamel makes the teeth less acid sensitive.
In addition, the antibacterial effect of the fluoride hinders the growth of the bacteria that are in the dental plaque.
Benefits of treatment
Tooth decay is a disease of hard tooth components. It causes dissolution of minerals (demineralization) on the tooth surface.
Prevention by fluoridation should, on the one hand, enable the control of microorganisms that cause tooth decay. Bacteria, which are mainly in dental plaque, decompose the sugar from the food and thereby produce acid that attacks the enamel. Fluoridation offers protection against this acid attack.
On the other hand, the demineralization should be counteracted and the tooth material rebuilt remineralization. Fluorides accelerate the strengthening of teeth and bones by promoting the incorporation of minerals into these tissues. Despite intensive care, most people do not manage to keep their teeth free of debris. Here fluoridation helps to increase the resistance of the teeth.
Research has found that the risk of preschool caries is highest. Fluoridation measures should, therefore, be used for targeted prevention especially for children who are particularly at risk of caries. In these, by incorporating the fluorides from tablets, fluorine can be incorporated into the formation of teeth in the jawbone. Also, in patients who suffer from a particularly dry mouth, for example, due to medication or after radiotherapy, fluoridation measures have a high priority for caries prevention. Very at risk of getting tooth decay are patients who are very prone to tooth decay. Even with mentally or physically handicapped people, with denture wearers, with people who carry orthodontic appliances, and with old people who have problems with the oral cleanliness, there is a danger.
Carrying out the fluoridation
Fluoridation should always be within the tolerable concentration limits and should not be exceeded. Therefore, before prescribing fluoride preparations and their use, the physician asks the parents if they are already using fluoride in their child individual fluoride history. Treatment is then decided on either a systemic whole organism or local one-site effective fluoridation. To deliver the fluoride to the whole organism, the patient can take it with the drinking water, in the form of tablets or as a salt. On the other hand, local fluoridation can be achieved with toothpaste and toothpaste solutions, as well as with fluoride varnishes or gels.