When we talk about dental health, it’s difficult not to mention fluoride. For some people, fluoride is something that keeps teeth healthy and clean. They don’t know anything more than that about fluoride. This article will give you the necessary details about this mineral compound so that you should at least know what properties of fluoride keep your teeth healthy.
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral compound found in soil and water. The basic reason why fluoride is used in toothpaste and other dental products is that it prevents the tooth surface from the acid attacks made by the bacteria in plaque. Aside from that prevention, fluoride provides your teeth with minerals that are good for your teeth, like calcium. This helps in repairing any previous tooth decay or cavity in your teeth. There are two types of applications with which you can increase fluoride protection – systemic and topical applications.
Systemic fluoride is what you get by drinking fluoridated water or consuming fluoride-rich foods and drinks. People also prefer taking fluoride supplements to increase their fluoride intake.
Topical fluoride is what you apply directly to your teeth. It’s found in oral hygiene products, including toothpaste and mouthwash. The fluoride content in all these products helps prevents tooth decay and gum infections. Other than that, topical fluoride is found in foams and gels that are used in various dental procedures.
How to Make Sure Your Toothpaste Contains Fluoride
The best way to check whether or not the toothpaste you’re using contains fluoride is to see if it’s mentioned in the ingredients. Also, check your toothpaste has the seal of ADA’s approval. This would tell you that the toothpaste you’re using has the appropriate amount of fluoride in it.
Fluoridated water is what you might be using in the area you live in. Adjusting the fluoride levels in the water supply to maintain the optimum level required for better oral health gives you fluoridated water.
Drinking Bottled Water
If you rely mostly on bottled water, then you’re not taking advantage of the fluoride-rich tap water which is really necessary for the prevention of your teeth from cavities. The thing is the fluoride content in bottled water is less than the ideal range required to prevent cavities. Thus, if you mostly drink bottled water, you should ask your dentist to recommend you fluoride supplements, mouthwash, and topical gels.
Fluoride for Children
Fluoride is easily absorbed by the developing teeth. That’s why excessive intake of fluoride can cause mild discoloration of teeth in children. Parents must make sure their children are using the right toothpaste and mouthwash. Consult a dentist to ensure that your child is not ingesting too much fluoride, especially if you’re giving your children fluoride supplements as well. Your dentist will advise you on how much fluoride consumption is healthy for your child and if there’s any particular toothpaste that your child must use.
For a thorough consultation regarding your fluoride intake, contact The Gentle Dentist today and find out if your fluoride consumption is under or above the required levels, and what needs to be done in either case. We can be reached at 586-247-3500. Call us today!