One of the best ways to prevent cavities in your child's teeth is to ensure your child receives fluoride. Fluoride is a compund that contains fluorine, which is a natural element. Flouide prevents loss of minerals from tooth enamel and promotes remineralization. Fluoride also affects bacteria that cause cavities, discouraging acid attacks that break down the tooth. Caries risk is reduced even further when fluoride is combined with good oral hygiene and a healthy diet.
Fluoride comes in two varieties, systemic and topical:
- Systemic fluoride is ingested, usually through a public water supply. While teeth are forming under the gums, the fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, making it stronger and more resistant to cavities.
- Fluoride can also be applied topically to help prevent caries (cavities) on teeth present in the mouth. It is delivered through toothpaste, mouthwash, and professional fluoride applications.