Ok – ok, so what’s the deal with fluoride? You keep hearing about it, it must be important, right?
Right! Fluoride is important for overall oral health. It is especially useful in preventing tooth decay. So what is it? Fluoride is a compound containing fluorine, a naturally occurring element. Did you know that fluoride is often added to community water supplies, where it is not naturally occurring? According to the ADA, water fluoridation, as it is called, has been known to lower tooth decay rates, as much as 50%. As great as that is, it is still very important to make sure your child is using fluoridated toothpaste. Not sure which toothpaste to choose for your child? Look for a toothpaste with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval to make sure it contains the right amounts of fluoride.
So what does fluoride do? Fluoride actually helps prevent tooth decay by preventing acid attacks and mineral loss to the teeth. Fluoride helps make your child’s teeth stronger by encouraging remineralization to the teeth. Lots of things can cause tooth decay in your child’s teeth, sugary drinks like juice and soda, candy and other unhealthy foods, to name a few. For the greatest benefit for your child’s oral health, combine a healthy diet and use of fluoridated toothpaste, with regular brushing two times a day.