22 July 20

Fluoride - It is all in the dose!

There is so much controversy around fluoride and for a dentist this is extremely frustrating; we as dentists know the benefits. In fact according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fluoride is considered one of the 10 greatest public health achievements in the 20th century, and provides an important benefit to keeping teeth healthy. The reality is- fluoride is an inexpensive way to reduce cavities and dental decay. Dental decay known also as dental caries is a disease that affects people of all ages.

How do we get fluoride?

Well fluoride comes from either a systemic or topical form. The systemic form comes from outside sources such as food and drink and works internally. Over time, the fluoride in foods and drink you consume becomes a component in your saliva. The fluoride-rich saliva helps reduce the acidity on your teeth and thus reduces decay. Topical fluoride comes in the form of gels, toothpaste tablets and toothpastes. These products come into direct contact with your teeth. It helps your by the fluoride disrupting the acidity on your teeth to reduce decay.

Is Fluoride Safe for Kids?

The key thing is- when used correctly, fluoride is absolutely safe for kids! Systemically it is key as it provides an important benefit for infants because it works before teeth come out in the oral cavity. Fluoride actually aids in strengthening the enamel during tooth formation so they're even stronger when they come out ie erupt. It is no secret that foods high in sugar aren’t good for teeth. But even if foods don’t have added sugar, they most likely have natural sugar in them, and fluoride helps to buffer the acid-producing sugars in the everyday food and drink that your kids consume.

When Should Kids Start Using Fluoride Toothpaste?

Fluoride tooth paste should be used as soon as you see teeth appear in your child’s mouth. However the amount is crucial- huge amounts of fluoride can be toxic to both children and adults. Do not panic small doses are the key to success.

How Much Fluoride Toothpaste Should I Give My Child?

For children under age 3, use a rice-sized smear of fluoride toothpaste, and for children ages 3 to 6, use a pea-sized amount. You should always supervise your child to be sure they’re not using too much toothpaste and to ensure they don’t swallow it. For children over 7 Pärla is a great option, it ensures that children are getting the correct amount of fluoride- not too much or too little.

The verdict

A lot of people have strong opinions about using fluoride, especially in children. Fluoride used correctly is extremely beneficial to helping children have healthier mouths.Fluoride is a wonderful tool that we use on a daily basis to help strengthen teeth and lessen tooth decay. If a child has tooth decay, fluoride helps to restore and strengthen their teeth. Even if a child doesn’t have tooth decay, fluoride can help keep it that way. Using a combination of fluoride toothpaste tablet such as Pärla is the best way to protect your child from tooth decay.