Should You Use Fluoride?
“You have a cavity” is one thing you certainly do not want to hear at your dental visit. But is good oral hygiene the only preventative measures you can take to avoid that phrase at the dentist? Should you use fluoride? Although brushing and flossing are the bread and butter of happy teeth, fluoride is of great benefit as well! Find out why.
It’s Found in Nature
Interestingly, fluoride is called “nature’s cavity fighter”, according to The American Dental Association. As Colgate brings out, “Fluoride is an element naturally found in the Earth’s crust, atmosphere, biosphere and hydrosphere.” That means some of the foods we eat and even the water we drink has a measure of this element in it.
A Tooth Strengthener
We just learned where fluoride comes from. Therefore, throughout our day, we are taking in trace amounts of this element through such things as food and water. Thus as baby teeth develop under the gums, fluoride collected in the body is helping those teeth gain strong enamel. It also serves to strengthen teeth further after they erupt, thus creating cavity defenses, and in some cases it can even reverse early stages of tooth decay.
Listen to Your Doctor
As you can see, this element is very beneficial and thus dentists like to recommend you use a fluoride rinse or tooth paste. It is also offered at many dental offices in topical form. Thanks to nature, you are also likely getting ample doses with the food and water you consume.
What is Fluorosis?
However, one can have too much of a good thing. Especially in children, when a high amount of fluoride is constantly consumed by children with developing teeth, it can cause white streaks, spots, or pits on the teeth. This is known as fluorosis. Although the effects are only cosmetic, they are permanent.
It is recommended to speak with your dentist on how to limit your child’s intake of fluoride. Supervision as they brush their teeth is also a good idea in order to prevent their swallowing large amounts of toothpaste.
The Bottom Line
As we have learned, fluoride is very beneficial for teeth. Getting a little extra here and there with your toothpaste and mouth rinse, for example, is a good idea. As with anything though, moderation is key. If you are not sure if you should incorporate more into your hygiene routine, let us know. We love answering your questions and would be happy to set up your dental appointment for you! Call us!