Fluoride Facts That Your Dentists Never Told You About!
Fluoride is one of the Earth's most abundant elements. This compound is found naturally in processed foods and soil. Fluoride has been added to tap water since the 40's to prevent tooth decay. Res...
What Kind of Dental Products Contain Fluoride?
Fluoride is found in many dental products such as mouth rinses and toothpastes. Over-the-counter mouth rinses contain fluoride in lower strengths; stronger concentrations require a physician's prescription.
How Does Fluoride Prevent Tooth Decay?
Fluoride encourages remineralization. It strengthens areas that are weakened and starting to develop tooth decay. It also affects bacteria that causes tooth decay and discourages acid attacks that destroy the teeth. The risk for tooth decay is reduced more when fluoride is combined with good oral hygiene and a healthy diet.
Is Fluoride Safe?
Using fluoride for the control and prevention of tooth decay is proven to be effective and safe. However, too much fluoride before a child reaches the age of eight can cause enamel fluorosis, which is a mottling or discoloration of the teeth. For most children, the changes are subtle. Most cases are due to the inappropriate use of dental products that contain fluoride, including mouth rinses and toothpaste. Additionally, some children take fluoride supplements but may be getting enough fluoride from other sources, which puts them at risk.
Can Fluoride Toxicity Occur?
As with many medications, including mineral and vitamin supplements, it's possible to take a dangerous amount of fluoride. In rare cases, fluoride toxicity can occur when large amounts of this substance are ingested in a short period of time. Under the age of six account for more than 80 percent of reports of over-ingestion. Although the outcomes are not usually serious, fluoride sends hundreds of children to hospitals every year. Symptoms of fluoride toxicity can include vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, increased salivation, and increased thirst. Symptoms typically begin 30 minutes after ingestion and last up to 24 hours. Call 911 or a poison control center if you have consumed a substantial amount of a fluoridated supplement or product.
What Type of Toothpastes Should I Buy?
Most dentists recommend that children and adults use fluoridated toothpastes. Brushing twice a day or after meals provides greater benefits then brushing once a day.
Am I Getting an Adequate Amount of Fluoride?
If your tap water is fluoridated and you're brushing your teeth regularly with fluoridated toothpaste, you're most likely receiving an adequate amount of fluoride. However, if you live in an area where the water does not contain fluoride, your dentist can prescribe fluoride drops or tablets as a daily supplement. Your dentist can also tell you much fluoride is right for you or your children.
Fluoride plays an important role in cavity prevention and healthy tooth development. Although this compound cannot repair tooth decay, it can prevent new cavities from developing. Remember that dentists are wonderful resources for information about dental care. The dentists in your area can help you understand more about how fluoride affects your oral health. If you don't have a dentist, you can find one by searching the internet and visiting online directories.
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