What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water and is found in the earth. It helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars.
How does it help?
It protects by remineralization of the teeth. When minerals are lost on the outer enamel layer from acids, plaque, sugars and bacteria ect. It redeposits calcium and phosphates beginning the remineralization process, strengthening the teeth and lowering the amount of acids in your mouth making your teeth stronger.
Without enough remineralization to repair the tooth enamel layer it can lead to tooth decay.
Fluoride protects teeth in two ways. Water fluoridation does both topical and systemic.
Topical fluoride: is delivered to the surface of the teeth.
Systemic fluoride: is ingested into the body and is incorporated into the tooth structures
In What Forms Is Fluoride Available?
- Mouth rinse
- Some floss
Is Fluoride in our water safe?
Studies have shown that areas without fluoridated water have a higher average amount of decay. In Canada, the optimal level of fluoride in the water is 0.7 milligrams per litre (mg/L) included with other sources of fluoride intake.
What are the systemic effects of Fluoride and is it safe for all ages?
Fluoride is safe for your health but too much can cause
- Dental fluorosis
- Skeletal fluorosis
Fluoride is safe for all ages but children do tend to swallow tooth paste. We always recommended using supervision whenever fluoride is applied to children. There are non-fluoridated tooth paste for children under the age of 6 and there are also fluorides varnishes that are used as a safer alternative.
You can find out if there is fluoride in your water by visiting: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/fluoride-water-map-canada.html
Always be sure to consult your dental professionals before the use of fluoride.