August 07, 2012
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            -fluoride is a natural mineral

            -it hardens tooth enamel and protects teeth by neutralizing the acid that causes decay

            -most of us get fluoride from the tap water that we drink

            -almost all of us get fluoride from toothpaste and fluoride rinses

            -children and some adults receive fluoride treatments at the dental office

            -it is inexpensive, safe and effective



            -fluoridated water can reduce tooth decay by 50-60%

            -fluoride gels given at your dentist’s office twice a year can reduce tooth decay by 40%

            -regular use of fluoride toothpaste can reduce tooth decay up to 25%

            -it can help rebuild areas of tooth demineralization (softening)

            -it decreases the amount of plaque bacteria in your mouth



            -it hardens the enamel on teeth thus reducing the risk of decay

            -it can stop and reverse the progress of newly formed cavities

            -it can help to reduce root surface temperature sensitivity

            -fluoride in tap water is used by your body cells that build your teeth to make the enamel stronger

            -topical fluoride that is applied to the teeth, makes the crystals that form enamel more durable

            -topical fluoride makes the enamel crystals more resistant to acids in your diet



            -fluoride intake should be strictly monitored in patients under the age of 6

                        -ingesting too much fluoride before the age of 6 can cause a condition of the permanent teeth called fluorosis which

                        appears as white or brown lines or spots on the permanent teeth

            -when mixing powder formula for your baby, use water that is fluoride free to help reduce any chance of fluorosis

            -until your child understands to spit out the toothpaste and not swallow it (usually around age 3), have him/her use

            fluoride-free toothpaste to help reduce any chance of fluorosis

             -be sure to watch and help your child with brushing his/her teeth to help ensure that toothpaste is not swallowed

             -when using fluoride toothpaste, whether you are a child or adult, it is only necessary to use no more than a pea-sized

             amount of toothpaste twice daily

            -in areas that do not have fluoride present in tap water, it may be necessary to use a fluoride supplement at home

             depending on your age and risk level for new cavities

                        -talk to your dentist for more information


To find out if you and your family are getting enough fluoride, talk with your dentist or hygienist.  There are some risks present such as fluorosis of the teeth or fluoride toxicity if guidelines are not followed and a patient ingests fluoride in very high amounts.  As long as the guidelines of fluoride intake and topical fluoride use are followed and administered or instructed by a dental professional, its use along with regular brushing, flossing and dental checkups and a diet low in sugars and acidic foods can result in strong, healthy teeth.