What Exactly Is Fluoride?
Fluoride helps in keeping teeth healthy. Fluoride is the most popular ingredient in almost all existing toothpaste brands because it does a great job at fighting tooth decay and in helping repair teeth.
Fluoride is divided into two delivery methods–systemic fluorides and topical fluorides. Systemic fluorides come naturally from water, soil, and many foods; they circulate through the bloodstream and are then incorporated into developing teeth. Meanwhile, topical fluorides are the ones you apply and place directly on the teeth to fight off tooth decay and keep the enamel strong.
Different Kinds of Topical Fluorides
Topical fluorides can be applied either professionally or through self-application. Professional topical fluorides are the ones applied by dental professionals. They usually involve the use of high fluoride concentration products ranging from 5000-19000 ppm which is equivalent to 5-9 mg F/ml. On the other hand, self-applied topical fluorides are low fluoride concentration products ranging from 200-1000 ppm or 0.2-1 mg F/ml. Some examples are gels, mouthwash, and of course, toothpaste.
Fluoride For Children
Children exposed to fluoride will need adult supervision. When used appropriately, it helps prevent cavities and tooth decay. Once children are able to spit out, they can already start using fluoridated toothpaste. Using a small smear of toothpaste will prevent them from swallowing too much of it. At our office, we have a number of options for topical fluoride. However, if there are still concerns about ingesting fluoride or if your child is very young, there are other options. Other products based on calcium and phosphate may be great alternatives, and these products are safe to use for pregnant or nursing women as well as children under 6 years old.
We respect your decisions regarding fluoride. We believe that the best way for you to make an informed decision is having an open and honest discussion about the potential risks, benefits and alternative options. Please give us a call or come in for a visit, and we can answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding fluoride.