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Fluoride: What is it?

Enamel, the outer layer of the crown of a tooth, is made of closely packed minerals. Minerals from this layer are lost every day in a process called demineralization. Demineralization, if not carefully reversed, can lead to well-known dental problems such as cavities. Luckily for us, demineralization is not nearly as troublesome as some believe!

Fluoride helps teeth in two ways. When children consume fluoride in small amounts, it enters the bloodstream and becomes part of their developing adult teeth. This helps them to grow healthy, strong teeth once their first set of baby teeth fall out. Furthermore, consumed fluoride becomes part of our saliva and aids in keeping the outer enamel of our teeth strong. Consuming small amounts of fluoride is normal for all animals, as fluoride naturally occurs in rivers and other bodies of water.

The second benefit to using fluoride is that it helps to aid in remineralization, a process that restores the minerals to the enamel. Furthermore, fluoride given to you at your local, Calgary dentist is strong enough to disrupt the production of acids by bacteria in your mouth.

Who needs fluoride?

Children are our number one concern. Children who do not drink fluoridated water should be consuming fluoride supplements to ensure good oral health. While fluoride does exist naturally in both the Elbow and Bow Rivers, it’s about half as much as your child ideally needs. If your child is getting cavities, he or she may need to use extra fluoride to promote remineralization around their trouble teeth. Fluoride rinses are recommended for children over the age of 6 to help with this situation.

Is Fluoride Safe to Use for children?

Fluoride is safe and effective when used properly. All water fluoridation systems are checked daily to maintain safe fluoridation systems for drinking. Fluoride supplement tablets should be stored away safely and kept out of the reach of children. Fluoride, like all things, can be toxic if taken in too high of a dose. Ask your dentist how much fluoride your child needs to take to stay healthy and cavity free!

When it comes to safe fluoride use in the home, here are a few general points to follow:

  • Promote the use of fluoride toothpaste and drinking water.
  • Do not encourage the swallowing of toothpaste.
  • Do not stock up on fluoride supplements in your home to avoid the risk of overdosing.

Have any other questions regarding fluoride? Need advice on how much fluoride to give your child to keep away the cavities? Contact our Team at Apple Dental Group Today!