There is an ongoing debate regarding the benefits of fluoride toothpaste.
Although the mineral can be found in many things, for many years fluoride has been added to water supplies, to mouthwashes, and to toothpaste ingredients.
Although there have been many controversial surveys on fluoride health effects, the overwhelming consensus among the dental profession appears to be that the health of the teeth suffers when there is a lack of fluoride.
Tooth decay is said to be reduced by as much as 60%, just by water fluoridation alone. So using oral care products which contain this mineral can only help.
Fluoride Effects On Teeth
The enamel layer of the teeth is subjected to potentials damage on a daily basis, from food, drink, and sugars.
Fluoride helps to prevent the acid and bacteria, which would normally cause severe tooth decay, from attacking the tooth enamel and destroying it.
As the teeth develop in the young child, fluoride helps make it harder for acid and bacteria demineralization, thereby resulting in stronger healthier teeth which are less likely to suffer decay.
When children are small they are unable to use adult toothpastes and so must get the necessary fluoride via water or other means.
Although all children will benefit from teeth strengthening fluoride, the benefits continue up until adulthood.
Fluoride toothpaste ensures that people get the topical benefits from fluoride, on a regular basis.
Sodium Fluoride Toothpaste
By adding fluoride to toothpaste, it provides an extra route directly to the teeth, and is useful for those who are deemed at higher risk of suffering erosion to the teeth.
You should note that toothpastes give guidelines as to their use, and these should always be followed.
Instructions may advise on:
- Whether they are suitable for children under a certain age.
- Whether it is harmful to swallow the product.
- Guidelines if the product is swallowed in large quantities.
Fluoride Gels And Varnishes
As well as the toothpaste or mouthwash you can use at home, your dental clinic or hygienist can use one of the many fluoride varnishes or gels to coat the teeth.
Coating the teeth with a special varnish or gel is often a service that is provided at a free dentist treatment day, as it offers protection to those who cannot deal with huge dental maintenance bills.
These special solutions are painted or sprayed onto the teeth and contain higher levels of fluoride than you would find in a product suitable for use at home.
There are many things that can be done to help protect the teeth. From maintaining a rigorous oral hygiene regime to having protective coatings put on the teeth.
Another way that dentists, doctors, and pediatricians can prescribe fluoride is through supplements. Available in either a liquid or tablet form, the doses will again contain higher doses of fluoride than over the counter products.
Over exposure can result in the rare condition of dental fluorosis, where there is discoloration of the tooth enamel.
Fluoride For Teeth In Adulthood
Although infants and children gain the most benefit because their adult teeth haven’t yet appeared, adults can help maintain healthy teeth, through diet, oral hygiene, and teeth cleaning products.
Organic and natural toothpastes are quite trendy, containing baking soda, herbs, and other natural ingredients.
Although there are many pleasant tasting natural products which contain no bleaching agents, etc. they do not necessarily help to protect the tooth enamel.
With regular use, the benefits of fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash will be shown in the strength of the teeth, in both children and adults alike.