Learn More From Our Toluca Lake Dentists About The Uses Of Fluoride In Dental Care

Written by Dr. McKay on Sep 6, 2022

Our Toluca Lake dentists want you to get the most out of your dental routine, and a big part of that is ensuring that you are using the right products to clean your smile. This short article is all about one especially important ingredient in oral hygiene products: fluoride.

Get The Facts

Fluoride is a mineral that is found in natural water all over the world. This mineral is particularly important in the world of dentistry, because it has been shown to aid in dental enamel re-mineralization. Oral bacteria and acid de-mineralize, or soften your enamel; you need re-mineralizing agents to make it strong again.

Although water contains fluoride naturally, in the United States we further enrich the public water supply with additional fluoride. This helps to discourage cavity development, so that your smile stays healthier, longer.

Ways To Get Fluoride

If you are drinking tap water and using it to clean your smile in the morning and night, then you are already getting some of the fluoride exposure you need. Also, most toothpastes formulated for adults contain fluoride—check with your dental team if you aren’t sure that type of product is right for you. You can also incorporate a fluoride-containing over-the-counter mouth rinse into your routine.

Additionally, there are professionally administered topical fluoride treatments and mouth rinses available; these contain higher concentrations of fluoride than over-the-counter options. Dentists prescribe and administer these formulations specifically for patients with vulnerable or damaged dental enamel. Your dentists can let you know whether these might be right for you or your child.

One Exception

On the whole fluoride is beneficial for maintaining an attractive and healthy smile. However, fluoride needs to be used sparingly with small children, especially those who are young enough to regularly swallow toothpaste. If a child, whose adult teeth are still developing, ingests too much fluoride, they could develop dental fluorosis. This condition is characterized by dental discoloration and textural irregularities in the enamel. Talk to your dental team about when your child should start using fluoridated products.

As always, our Toluca Lake dentists are here to answer all of your questions, and provide you with the support you need to smile confidently. We look forward to speaking with you!