- Fluoride is known as nature’s cavity fighter. Fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral, aids in the prevention of cavities in both children and adults by strengthening the outer surface of your teeth (enamel) against acid attacks that cause tooth cavity.
How Does Fluoride Acts Against Cavity?
Fluoride has advantages for both children and adults. Here’s how it’s done:
- Fluoride from foods, beverages, and dietary supplements strengthens tooth enamel (the hard surface of the tooth) before it breaks through the gums, making it easier to resist cavity formation. This is referred to as a “systemic” benefit.
- Fluoride helps rebuild (remineralize) weakened tooth enamel after teeth erupt and reverses early signs of tooth decay.
- Fluoride is applied to the surface of your teeth when you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste or use other fluoride dental products. This is referred to as a “topical” benefit.
Where Can I Get Fluoride?
- Fluoridated water should be consumed
- Fluoride occurs naturally in almost all water sources, including rivers, lakes, wells, and even the oceans.
- Fluoride has been added to public water supplies for the past 70 years to raise fluoride levels to the level required to help prevent tooth decay.
- Prior to water fluoridation, children had approximately three times the number of cavities.
- Fluoride toothpaste is recommended.
- Fluoride toothpaste has been responsible for a significant decrease in cavities. To ensure fluoride content, look for one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
- Brush your teeth twice a day (morning and night), or as directed by your dentist.
- For children under the age of three, begin brushing their teeth as soon as they appear in the mouth, using fluoride toothpaste in the size of a grain of rice.
- Use no more than a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste on children aged 3 to 6.
- Always supervise your child’s brushing to ensure they use the proper amount, and try to get your child to spit out the majority of the toothpaste.
- Fluoride mouthwash
- Fluoride mouthwash can help make your teeth more resistant to decay, but children under the age of six should not use it unless recommended by a dentist.
- Because their swallowing reflexes aren’t fully developed, many children under the age of six are more likely to swallow it than spit it out.
- Consult with your dentist about a professional application.
If you have a high risk of developing cavity, your dentist will use a gel, foam, or rinse to apply fluoride directly to your teeth during your dental visit.
- Consume a Fluoride Supplement
- Fluoride supplements are only available by prescription and come in tablet, drop, or lozenge form.
- They are only recommended for children aged six months to sixteen years who live in areas with insufficient fluoride in their community drinking water and are at high risk of developing cavities.
Discuss your child’s specific fluoride requirements with your dentist.