|Type of medicine||Fluorides|
|Used for||To prevent tooth decay|
Fluorides help to prevent tooth decay. The topical action of fluoride on tooth enamel and plaque is more effective than when fluoride is taken orally.
Before taking fluorides
Before taking fluorides make sure your doctor, dentist or pharmacist knows:
- If the area where you live has fluoride added to the drinking water.
- If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal or complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to fluoride or to any medicines.
How to take fluorides
- Before beginning your treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet.
- Take your medication exactly as directed by your doctor or dentist.
If you are taking fluoride tablets:
- The tablets should be sucked or allowed to dissolve in your mouth.
- Try to take the tablets in the evening.
If you are using a fluoride mouthwash:
- Rinse 10mls of the mouthwash around your mouth for one minute and then spit out.
- Avoid eating, drinking or rinsing your mouth for 15 minutes after using the mouthwash.
If you are using a fluoride gel:
- Using a toothbrush, apply the gel onto all tooth surfaces once daily.
- Swish between your teeth for one minute before spitting out.
- Avoid eating, drinking or rinsing your mouth for 15 minutes after using the gel.
If you are using a fluoride toothpaste:
- The toothpaste comes in two different strengths.
- Brush your teeth with the toothpaste for the amount of time specified on the packaging before spitting out.
- Use the toothpaste after each meal.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Keep your regular doctor's or dentist's appointment so your progress can be monitored.
- Use the fluoride product you have been given for as long as your doctor or dentist has told you to.
- Mouthwashes may be used daily or weekly, tablets are usually taken daily, and toothpastes can be used up to three times a day. Ask your doctor or dentist if you are unsure of how often to take or use your fluoride product.
- If you buy any medicines, check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take with fluorides.
Can fluorides cause problems?
Along with their useful effects all medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor, dentist or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Possible side-effects||What can I do if I experience this|
|White flecks on your teeth||Speak with your dentist if you are concerned about this|
|Yellowish-brown tooth discoloration||Speak with your dentist if you are concerned about this. It may mean that you are using too much of the product or need a weaker fluoride|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this product, speak with your doctor, dentist or pharmacist.
How to store fluorides
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 62nd Edition (Sep 2011) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Pippa Crossley|
|Last Checked: 07/06/2011||Document ID: 3752 Version: 22||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.