The best prevention against caries is fluoride prophilaxis: it consists in a
daily assumption by means of the diet, of a given quantity of a salt known as
Sodium Fluoride. It is well known that fluoride taken this way, produces teeth
which are extremely more resistant to caries. In particular, what happens is
that the enamel crystals, composed by a Calcium aggregate known as
Hydroxylapatite, modify themselves while forming, transforming themselves into
FluorHydroxylapatite, a much more resistant crystal against the action of lactic
But to obtain these more sturdy teeth, it's necessary that the fluoride may
enter into the composition of the enamel while this is forming, even before the
tooth's eruption. This is why fluoride prophilaxis has to be done "from the
inside" by means of the diet starting from the very first infancy for it to have
the best effect.
The WHO (World Health Organization) protocol consists
from 0 to 2 years 0.25 mg daily
from 2 to 4 years 0.50 mg daily
from 4 to 12 years 1 mg daily
Products for fluoride prophilaxis are many and not expensive. For the
newborn, lately there's also the choice of drops, instead of the traditional
tablets. A useful information is to get the fluoride well separated from milk
because if they get mixed, the treatment looses effectiveness.
About the opportunity of adult fluoride intake, opinions differ: as a matter
of facts, adults have an already formed enamel and therefore fluoride does not
affect its structure, however it may have some benefical effect on dentine.
Fluoride assuption in pregnant women makes sense but is difficult in dosage,
because part of the intaken fluoride is absorbed by the mother instead of the
foetus, and anyway the actual quantity of fluoride passing the placenta is
practically not measurable with precision. Generally the standard protocol is
more than enough, even if a more careful management may indicate a prophilaxis
on the pregnant woman also.