Some Answers To Your Questions About Fluoride
If you are a parent and want to invest in your child's oral health, then you may want to make sure that you do everything right. However, there are some things that may seem awfully confusing to you. If you have looked at your options for oral care products, then you probably have noticed than many have fluoride in them. If you have questions about fluoride, then keep reading to learn about some answers.
Is Fluoride Safe?
One of the most important questions you have about fluoride likely involves its safety. Thankfully, fluoride in your water and your oral care products is safe. This is the case due to the low amounts of fluoride that your child is likely to consume. In general, experts typically agree that topical fluoride products like toothpastes, mouthwashes, and varnishes, like the ones used at your local dentist's office, are a healthy choice. Fluoride in your water is safe as well. In fact, most kids will get all the fluoride they need from their water and oral care products.
You should understand that large amounts of fluoride may be bad for your child, though. Too much fluoride can cause fluorosis. This condition causes white specks to form on the dental enamel.
An abundance of fluoride can also cause flu-like symptoms, rashes, and breathing problems. While acute fluoride toxicity issues are rare, they can easily be avoided. Do not give your child fluoride supplements and follow your dentist's advice about when to start using fluoride products and also how much should be given to your child at one time.
What Does Fluoride Do?
If your child's dentist has instructed you to start using oral care products with fluoride for your child, then you may already know the additive helps to reduce cavities. This is true, but you may be confused about how this is the case.
Fluoride is especially helpful in protecting the teeth when the adult teeth are still forming in the mouth. Specifically, it mixes with dental enamel when the teeth first develop, and this helps to create strong and hard bonds along the exterior of the teeth. Once the teeth form, fluoride helps with remineralization, which is the process of rebuilding minerals along the exterior surfaces of the teeth.
Minerals are constantly lost as acids and bacteria attack the enamel. This weakens the teeth and allows cavities to form. The fluoride helps to pull minerals into the gaps where the minerals were initially lost. This helps to fortify the protective barrier that keeps cavities from developing. The result is stronger and less sensitive teeth and fewer overall cavities.