What is fluoride and how does it improve dental health?
Fluoride is frequently referred to as a natural prevention for cavities. Fluoride is a natural mineral which is proven to counteract cavities in children and adults through strengthening the enamel of your teeth and making this surface more of a barrier against acid wear which leads to tooth decay.
The naturally found mineral works for adults and children. For children it helps to strengthen teeth prior to erupting, and therefore less likely to suffer from decay. This is thanks to the presence of the mineral in foods, drinks and natural drinking water. For additional dental information you can visit this site.
Once teeth have come through or erupted, fluoride will effectively help to rebuild or remineralise surfaces which have become worn and reverses the early onset of any tooth decay. When using toothpaste which contains fluoride or other products such as mouthwash, the fluoride is absorbed by your teeth which provides a topical advantage.
When consuming foods and drinks, the mineral becomes a component of your saliva which further enhances the absorption of the mineral and improving the strength and health of your teeth.
To make sure you are getting enough fluoride you should drink plenty of water as the mineral is naturally found in drinking water. Additionally for many decades the mineral has been added to public water in order to increase levels to provided added health benefits to the public.
Fluoridation by water supply companies is like vitamin fortification by food manufacturing companies. It is a documented fact that prior to fluoridation children were three times more likely to have cavities. Thanks to the contribution to dental health, water fluoridation has been hailed as one of the great initiatives of recent times.
Research continues to document the fact that the initiative reduces tooth decay by more than 25% both in children and in adults. This is even with the use and availability of the mineral from other consumables such as toothpaste and mouthwash. Around three quarters of the population benefits from mineral enhanced water supplies.
Using the right products
For the last 60 years, fluoride enhanced toothpaste has reduced cavities greatly. Look for consumer information and packaging to ensure you are getting the best possible product. Once you have chosen a suitable product that you like, you should brush twice a day – morning and night as advised by your dental practice. For young children aged under the age of 3, you should start brushing as soon as the first tooth comes through with a very small amount of toothpaste, roughly the size of a grain of rice. For children between the ages of 3 – 6 you should use a pea sized amount of toothpaste containing added mineral. You should always ensure supervision of brushing for your child. Mouthwash is also beneficial for children but should be started once they are confident and proficient in the techniques of using mouth wash. Ideally this is aged six and above due to the tendency to swallow rather than spitting out and the awareness and practice required.
Added application by your dentist
Your dentist can also apply added fluoride directly to your teeth using a cream based solution. This is routinely applied in some areas and for certain age groups. Supplements are also available but this is on a prescription basis only. Talk to your dentist about recommendations in your location.