The facts on fluoride.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring element that is abundant in soil, rocks and the earth's crust. Good thing there's lots of it, because it's also nature's answer to tooth decay. Fluoride helps prevent cavities in five different ways:
- Fluoride makes teeth more resistant to decay. It works its way into the structure of the tooth to make the enamel stronger and more resistant to acid.
- Fluoride stops bacteria in the mouth from producing acids that cause tooth decay.
- Fluoride makes the enamel on teeth harder and stronger.
- Fluoride use can replace minerals in tooth surfaces that have been broken down by acids. This can help repairing early decay or damage before it causes a cavity.
Fluoride and kids.
Topical fluoride gel or foam treatments can begin after the age of three. The treatment is given at the dentist office and is not only painless, but comes in a rainbow of flavors.
Fluoride rinses are recommended for kids six and older. They're especially good for kids who drink soft drinks and/or have braces. If used daily, they can cut decay by approximately 30%.
Fluoride toothpaste can be used at any age. Forget about what you see in commercials, all it takes is a pea-sized blob of toothpaste. The key is to brush for three to four minutes.
And during routine dental visits, fluoride polishing paste is used to clean your teeth. Surprise, you're getting the proven benefits of fluoride and you didn't even know it!
Picking a toothpaste.
As long as your toothpaste contains fluoride, it doesn't really matter which branch you use. It can be paste or gel, mint or bubblegum, white or green, tube or squeeze bottle - just make sure it contains fluoride. Look for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval on the package and you're good to go.
No matter how you get it, fluoride = healthy teeth.