THE USE OF FLUORIDE AND ITS EFFECT ON HEALTH
Appropriate oral health care is fundamental for any individual’s health. Dental caries is still one of the major public health problems. The most effective way of caries prevention is the use of fluoride. Fluoride occurs naturally in our environment and is always present in our lives. However, the concentration differs from area to area. Exposure can occur through diet, respiration and fluoride supplements. During pregnancy, the placenta acts as a barrier. The fluoride, therefore, crosses the placenta in low concentrations. Drinking water in Slovenia is not fluoridated; the amount of naturally present fluoride is very low. Fluoride can be toxic in extremely high concentrations. The most important effect of fluoride on caries incidence is through its role in the process of remineralisation and demineralisation of tooth enamel. The European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry (EAPD) recommends a preventive topical use of fluoride supplements because of their cariostatic effect.
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