Fluoride, a natural mineral, helps to prevent cavities in children and adults. It is safe and effective, and is a main ingredient in toothpastes and some mouthwashes. In many area, it is added to the local water supply. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), fluoridated water supplies have lowered instances of tooth decay by 50 percent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also supports fluoridated water and its safety for children.

To understand more about fluoride, we compiled some information below.

It strengthens tooth enamel

Tooth enamel is the hard coating on teeth. Fluoride mixes with tooth enamel to protect against sugars and plaque as teeth grow. Furthermore, it helps rebuild weakened tooth enamel in adult teeth. Even though you spit out toothpaste and rinse, enough fluoride remains to protect after brushing. Protecting tooth enamel helps to prevent cavities.

Children should use ADA-approved toothpaste

Find the American Dental Association (ADA) seal on toothpastes when you buy. Training toothpastes are available for infants to two years old. For age three and up, child-friendly toothpastes are available with fluoride. Children and adults should brush their teeth at least two times every day. Parents, also show your children how you care for your own teeth. As a result, they will understand the importance of preventing cavities.

Foods and beverages also contain fluoride

Calcium and vitamin D are beneficial to strong and healthy teeth. Avocados, raisins, and lettuce are among those that contain fluoride.

It is safe to mix tap water with infant formula

According to the American Dental Association, it is safe to use fluoridated water to mix infant formula. Always ask your pediatrician if you have questions or concerns.

A dentist may recommend a topical treatment or supplements

The dentist will discuss your child’s fluoride needs with you. He or she may recommend a topical treatment during a visit. A dentist or hygienist applies the treatment with a brush or mouth guard. The process is quick and painless. These treatments can slow down and prevent cavities. A dentist may recommend supplements if a patient is not receiving the recommended amount of fluoride for proper oral care.

Talk to your dentist, pediatrician or family physician about your child’s specific needs. In the Raleigh area? We would be happy to talk to you and schedule an appointment for your child.