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Fluoride and Oral Health

Cavities used to be a fact of life that everyone had to deal with. But that’s less true nowaday. In the past few decades, teeth decay has been reduced significantly due to one key factor: fluoride.

Research has shown time and time again that fluoride reduces the occurrence of cavities in both children and adults. It also helps to repair the early stages of tooth decay even before the decay becomes significant and visible.

Despite the significant effects and heavy usage of fluoride, the fact is that many people are misinformed about the mineral. Fluoride occurs naturally in all water sources, including the ocean and even Calgary’s own Bow River and Elbow River. Although high levels of fluoride consumption can be toxic, fluoride plays an essential part in everybody’s oral health as it prevents and treats cavities.

Here are a few commonly asked questions about fluoride:

How can you get the fluoride you need?

Many cities in Canada fluoridate in order to help their citizens receive the ideal amount of fluoride. However, even if your city doesn’t fluoridate (Calgary doesn’t), you are most likely still consuming some fluoride through your home’s drinking water as fluoride occurs naturally in most rivers. You will be getting less fluoride than recommended though. Bottled water also has fluoride since it’s usually gathered from a natural spring. If you filter water at your house, you may be removing fluoride.

Another way you can get fluoride is through self-application. Toothpastes recommended by dental professionals in Canada are almost always fluoride toothpastes. The Canadian Dental Association recommends that parents start brushing their children’s teeth as soon as teeth begin to erupt with fluoride toothpaste. For children aged younger than 3, use an amount close to the size of a grain of rice. For children aged 3 to 6, a pea size amount is appropriate.

When is Fluoride Consumption Not Safe?

There are many misconceptions about fluoride that lead some people to conclude that it is not safe to consume. But fortunately that’s not the case!

Fluoridated water is safe for older babies and children and is good for their developing teeth. It is also safe and beneficial for adults to consume. Fluoride concentration is checked by the city in which you live on a regular basis to ensure it is safe to consume.

Fluoride rinses and supplements are good too, especially if you don’t consume fluoridated water. However, it is important that these products are left out of the reach of young children because overdosing on fluoride is not a good idea. Too much of a good thing is rarely ideal. Parents should always monitor their child when it comes to fluoride products (such as toothpaste) to ensure their child uses them safely.

Have any other questions regarding fluoride? Contact our team at Apple Dental Group Today!