Dentist Oakland What is Fluoride?

94612 Dentist Discusses Fluoride Supplements

Fluoride is naturally occurring as a mineral that is found in your water and foods. Minerals like fluoride as well as calcium and phosphate aide in the remineralization of your tooth enamel. It also helps to prevent tooth decay by helping your teeth remain resistant to acid from the plague and bacteria found in the mouth. 
 
Fluoride Supplements
 
Your 94612 dentist can apply fluoride to your teeth. This is normally done in the form of a foam or gel. This gives your mouth a boost of fluoride you can’t find in toothpaste or rinses. They can also be prescribed as a tablet or liquid from the dentist for your home use.
 
It is most important that children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years receive adequate amounts of fluoride. This is when the permanent teeth are developing. Adults can also receive benefits from treatment as well when trying to prevent tooth decay.
 
Risk of Fluoride Usage
 
Fluoride has been deemed to be both effective and safe. If it is used in high doses, it can be hazardous to your health. That’s why it is extremely important that you supervise your children at all times when they are using fluoride toothpaste or products. 
 
If used in excess, fluoride can create defects to the enamel of the tooth. Sometimes, this isn’t noticeable but other times it creates white specks or streaks. This condition is referred to as fluorosis and generally happens in children younger than 6 years old. Most often, this condition seems to be caused by well water. If you are unsure about levels in your well water, be sure to test it with a kit. 
 
Tooth staining that is caused by fluorosis cannot be reversed with your hygiene. While the dentist might be able to lighten the spots or remove some stains, it is better to prevent the issue in the first place. 
 
Here are some helpful reminders when dealing with fluoride:
Keep all supplements out of the reach of children.
Don’t use flavored toothpaste as it can encourage children to swallow instead of spit.
When giving children toothpaste, only use a pea-sized amount.
Children younger than 6 shouldn’t use fluoridated toothpaste unless they know how to spit it out. 
 
If you are concerned about the fluoride levels in your family’s dental care, be sure to speak with your 94612 dentist. Our office can be reached at (510) 893-4041.