Is FLUORINE good for teeth? What is the role of fluoride? Information in 5 minutes

<div>In this Youtube video, and in this health and wellness blog post, you find :

- The different roles of fluoride

- The use of fluoride in adults and children

- Dietary sources of fluoride

- Fluoride and the prevention of cavities

- Fluoride poisoning or fluorosis

- Mouthwashes with fluoride

- Fluoride toothpastes

- The new recommendations

Fluoride is a trace element that was highly recommended for children at one time, but is no longer recommended at all.

Here is all the information in this article.

To begin with, you should know that fluoride is a trace element that is necessary for the good health of teeth and bones. It helps to strengthen the enamel on the teeth.

Our teeth are made of different layers, the most external is the enamel then there is the dentin, the cementum. These are the hard parts of the tooth. The innermost layer is the pulp which is the soft part of the tooth.

Enamel is composed mainly of minerals at about 95%, the rest being water and organic compounds which are proteins called enamelin.

It is interesting to know that tooth enamel is the hardest structure in the body.

The minerals that make up the enamel are calcium and phosphorus which form crystals called hydroxyapatite crystals between them.

You should know that the cells that build the enamel of the tooth disappear once the tooth is formed, that's why an alteration of the enamel requires an intervention external to our organism and therefore the installation of an amalgam (material made up of different metals such as zinc, copper, silver, mercury, ...) by the dentist who will correct the altered part of the enamel.

Enamel does not contain nerves, which is why a cavity within the enamel does not cause pain and why it is imperative to check the condition of your teeth at least every 6 months in order to examine the condition of your teeth before a cavity reaches deeper layers of the tooth and causes pain.

Fluorine binds to hydroxyapatite crystals to form fluoroapatite crystals.

Fluorine being a base, it will capture the acidic substances produced and released by the bacteria of the dental plaque, which will protect the crystals contained in the enamel and thus limit the formation of caries.

Plaque is a substance that continuously forms between the tooth and the gum. 

Plaque is composed of saliva and food debris.

Bacteria can quickly colonize plaque by feeding on the sugars it contains and secreting acidic substances that attack the enamel of the tooth, causing small holes called cavities to form.

If the decay affects the deeper layers of the tooth, it exposes the nerve directly to the various foods consumed, which causes severe pain as soon as a food or a hot or cold drink is taken.

Dental plaque can become calcified and turn into tartar if it is not removed regularly.

Fluoride helps to fight against the attacks of bacteria that produce acidic substances that can deteriorate the enamel of the tooth and form cavities.

Fluoride is only used to prevent and limit the formation of dental caries.

Some toothpastes enriched with fluoride can reduce the appearance of dental caries provided they are used regularly in combination with effective brushing, i.e. gently brushing the teeth up and down for 3 minutes and 3 times a day.

It is important to know that high doses of fluoride can cause intoxication called fluorosis. It causes the appearance of grayish stains on the teeth, a brittleness of the bones and pain and stiffness of the limbs.

This is why fluoride is no longer recommended for children unless they have an increased risk of developing cavities.

Fluoride is mainly present in mineral water and salt, in which case it is labelled fluoridated salt. It is important to know that children under 12 years of age should not drink water with a high fluoride content, i.e. more than 1 mg/L.

You should also be aware that because of the harmful effects that fluoride can cause over the long term and the intoxications that it can cause, children should not be regularly exposed to high doses of this trace element. This is one of the reasons why children should use a children's toothpaste and not the same toothpaste as their parent, as it generally contains twice as much fluoride.

Since children tend to swallow toothpaste, it is imperative to secure them by giving them a toothpaste adapted to their age in order to avoid the ingestion of large quantities of fluorine.

The dose of fluoride must also be limited in adults, not exceeding 3.5 mg of fluoride per day in total (toothpaste, water, salt) especially in case of kidney problems, pregnancy or breastfeeding.

In food, fluorine is also present in tea and fish (especially in the skin).

Dr. Noura Marashi (doctor of pharmacy, health youtuber, creator of the health and well-being application Pharmaquiz)

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