We’ve all been told that fluoride is good for our dental health, but most of us don’t actually know why. If you’ve ever wondered what exactly fluoride is and why it’s important, you’ve come to the right place! In this blog, we will provide a brief overview of the mineral and explain how and when to use it.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral compound that helps protect your enamel from the acids that cause tooth decay. It also can reverse any pre-existing decay.
Think of it as sunscreen for your teeth! Sunscreen stops the sun’s harmful rays from entering into the deeper layers of your skin. Fluoride stops the acids in plaque and sugar from breaking down your teeth.
How do I get Fluoride?
Fluoride is a lot more common than you would think! The mineral compound can be found in everything from foods and water to different dental products. In fact, the ADA won’t approve a toothpaste unless it contains fluoride – it’s that important! You can find it in toothpaste, mouthwashes, and can even buy it in tablet form.
Are Fluoridated Products Safe?
Yes! Fluoride is completely safe and effective when used at the correct dosages (depending on weight). That said, the over or misuse of it can be hazardous. Fluorosis is the most common defect but is usually due to fluoride-containing well water rather than dental products. In summary, you don’t need to be worried about using fluoride. It’s hard to reach toxic amounts!
Should I Drink Fluoridated Water?
If you drink a lot of bottled water, you may be missing out on the benefits of fluoride-containing water. According to the ADA, most bottled water does not contain enough of the mineral compound. So, you may be missing out on some of the decay-preventing perks of mineralized water.
At What Age is it Safe to Use Fluoride Toothpaste?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends starting to brush your baby’s teeth with fluoride-containing toothpaste once the first tooth erupts. Keep a close eye on them as they start brushing their teeth on their own! You want to minimize swallowing as much as possible.
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