Fluoride: Nature’s Cavity Fighter

May 30, 2021 4:00 am

Fluoride is found in many toothpastes and mouthwashes due to how effective it is at strengthening teeth and preventing cavities. Many dental patients, especially children, receive regular fluoride treatments, which involve applying a fluoride varnish to the teeth to strengthen tooth enamel. Many cities in the U.S. and around the world have even been adding fluoride to their water supplies for decades to help reduce the incidence of tooth decay.

The reason fluoride is called “nature’s cavity fighter” is due to the fact that fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral. Fluoride can be found in water, soil, and rocks. It is also present in our bones and our teeth. Exposing your teeth to enough fluoride can help remineralize tooth enamel, strengthen the structure of teeth, and reverse early signs of tooth decay.

Can You Get Too Much Fluoride?

Even though fluoride is naturally occurring does not mean that it should be consumed in unlimited quantities. Patients who are lacking fluoride can take supplements, but this should only be done under the direction of a doctor. Consumption of too much fluoride can cause a cosmetic condition called dental fluorosis, where the teeth develop streaks or spots of discoloration, and skeletal fluorosis, which can cause joint pain and stiffness due to weakened bones.

In general, most patients in the United States who brush their teeth regularly with fluoridated toothpaste without swallowing it and drink fluoridated tap water are receiving a safe amount of fluoride to strengthen their teeth without causing any harm.

Should I Reduce My Child’s Fluoride?

Small amounts of fluoride have been added to Columbus’ water supply since the 1970s, but if you are concerned about your child drinking fluoridated water, bottled water and fluoride filters are simple ways to reduce your child’s fluoride intake. However, we strongly recommend that children use fluoridated toothpaste and receive preventive fluoride treatments to promote positive oral health now and into adulthood.

Consult with Our Team!

If you have additional questions or concerns for our team about the safety of fluoride or if you want to schedule a cleaning for your child at Prairie Kids Dental, please contact us!

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