Caries Prophylaxis Using Fluorides

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Thorough and regular oral hygiene, a low-sugar, balanced diet, and a sufficient fluoride intake are among the most important prophylactic measures. But why exactly is fluoride so important for dental health? Fluoride accumulates in the dental enamel, making the teeth more acid-resistant. It also inhibits the growth of caries-producing bacteria and prevents their adhering to the dental surface. One generally differentiates between two types of fluoridation: direct application and ingestion. When fluorides are applied directly to the spot where they are to take effect (e.g. by regular toothpaste application), they can inhibit caries through direct contact. This is more effective than systemically administering fluorides via medication or nutrition.

The “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Zahn-, Mund- und Kieferheilkunde” [German Association for Dental, Oral and Maxillary medicine] recommends the following use of fluorides for children and adults:

  • No additional fluoridation measures for babies 6 months or younger.
  • Starting with the first baby tooth, brush tooth/teeth once a day, using a children’s toothpaste containing 500ppm max. of fluoride.
  • Starting at the first birthday, brush teeth twice a day, using a children’s toothpaste containing 500ppm max. of fluoride.
  • Starting with grade school entry, daily oral hygiene, using a toothpaste containing between 1000 and 1500ppm of fluoride; children with an elevated risk of caries may additionally use fluoride gels.
  • Additional use of fluoridated cooking salt as systemic fluoridation for the whole family.
  • Local application of fluoride lacquers, solutions and gels should only take place if and as recommended and supervised by the dentist.

 

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