Updated: Dec 18, 2018
Most of us, hopefully, brush our teeth twice a day, and probably use a fluoridated tooth paste: Colgate, Aquafresh, Sensodyne, Arm& Hammer, Crest, to name just a few.
Some of us might be aware that fluoride is found naturally in many foods and all drinking water. The amount of fluoride in water varies from area to area. Some Water authorities add extra fluoride.
But why is fluoride beneficial?
Besides being a helpful additive, it’s been proven to prevent tooth decay. There are two main ways in which fluoride prevents decay:
It fights the bacteria in plaque, stopping it from producing the acid that weakens tooth enamel.
It also remineralizes areas where acid damage has already happened
The amount of fluoride in toothpaste is usually enough to lower the level/risk of decay.
Studies have shown that children who have fluoride whilst their teeth are developing tend to have shallower grooves in their teeth, meaning that it is easier to get rid of plaque that forms.
All children upto the age of 3, should use a toothpaste with a fluoride level of at least 1000ppm (parts per million). After the age of 3, they should use a toothpaste that contains 1350ppm to 1500ppm.
Some dentists, including us here at College Street Dental Centre,Petersfield,believe that painting a fluoride varnish onto children’s teeth also further prevents decay. A good time for this is around the ages of 6 or 7 – when their first adult molars appear. Talk to your dentist about fluoride varnish next time you visit!
Many reports have been published throughout the world regarding the pros and cons of fluoride. Studies carried out for the government by York University and the Medical Research Council have failed to find any evidence that fluoride added to water causes harmful side effects. (source. http://www.dentalhealth.org/tell-me-about/topic/sundry/fluoride)
Worldwide, over 300 million people drink fluoridated water supplies. Many millions more regularly use fluoridated toothpaste. This has led to improved levels of dental health which in turn benefits general health.
For further information or advice contact College Street Dental Centre in Petersfield, Hampshire on 01730 263180