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Protecting All Children's Teeth (PACT): A Pediatric Oral Health Training Program
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Chapter 6: Fluoride

Introduction
Fluoride plays an important role in the prevention of dental caries.

The primary mechanism of action of fluoride in preventing dental caries is topical. Fluoride acts in the following ways to prevent dental caries:

  1. It enhances remineralization of the tooth enamel. This is the most important effect of fluoride in caries prevention. 
  2. It inhibits demineralization of the tooth enamel.  
  3. It makes cariogenic bacteria less able to produce acid from carbohydrates.

See Chapter 4: Caries for a complete review of the pathogenesis of dental caries.

Sections

1.
Systemic Sources of Fluoride
2.
Topical Sources of Fluoride
3.
Recommendations
   
Water Fluoridation
   
Fluoride Supplementation
4.
Fluorosis
5.
Toothpaste
6.
Key Points
7.
Self-Assessment Questions
 
Chapter Objectives
Upon chapter completion, participants will be able to:
 
1.
State the 3 mechanisms of action of fluoride in dental caries prevention.
 
2.
Summarize the available sources of fluoride and their relative benefits.
 
3.
List strategies to minimize the development of fluorosis.
 
4.
Discuss the fluoride supplementation guidelines.
 
5.
Recognize the various forms of fluorosis and recall their prevalence.
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