Prevention using fluoride
Fluoride is a chemical element, namely Halogen.
Studies by prominent scientists concerned around the world proved
that appropriate amounts of fluoride are highly effective in
preventing tooth decay. The Food and Drug Administration in the
United States set aside fluoride as one of the essential nutritions.
There are a variety of ways to utilize fluoride such as tap water
fluoride, gargling with fluoridated solution, topical application,
taking fluoridated pills, salted water or milk fluoride.
The most common oral disease among children is tooth decay and the
best prevention is regular brushing and fluoride use.
Ways to use fluoride
1. Taking fluoride
The most typical way is to regularly drink fluoridated tap water.
Studies show that drinking tap water with about 1 ppm of fluoride
even for a long period of time doesn't harm the body. Rather, it
helps prevent tooth decay.
2. Topical Application
In a situation like Korea where there is almost no fluoridation of
tap water, this topical application is recommended. It involves
applying fluoride on some parts of the surface of teeth, which keeps
some 40¡70% of tooth decay from occurring.
Pit & fissure sealant
About half of all tooth decay takes place on the chewing surface of
The chewing side of a tooth is called "occlusal surface.
Molars have uneven occlusal surfaces that break or grind food. There
are fine cracks and grooves on the surface, which are referred to as
fissures and pits. Almost all tooth cavities take place in this area
as food debris is likely to get stuck on this part and is not easily
removed by brushing.
Pit & fissure sealant is a treatment that seals this area with
composite resin to prevent tooth decay.
This treatment is mainly applied to children aged 5 to 15, usually 1
or 2 years after permanent teeth have come in.
Pit & fissure sealant is particularly recommended to the
following cases :
- Early teens who have new molars
- Those who are prone to tooth decay
- Those who only have decayed teeth far inside the mouth, near the
- Those who have deep fissures on the chewing surface of a tooth