What is Fluoride?
Many people wonder what fluoride actually is and why it is necessary to include in their oral hygiene routine. Fluoride is a naturally-occurring element found in the earth’s crust, rocks and soil and is actually a chemical ion called fluorine. Fluorine is a negatively charged ion, and when it meets a positively charged ion, like sodium, in your mouth they can prevent cavities and make your teeth stronger!
When you eat things like candy, cavity-causing bacteria starts producing acid that can attack at your tooth enamel, leaving you more susceptible to cavities and weak enamel. So here is where fluoride comes in to save the day! Our salvia is filled with calcium and when it meets up with the fluoride, the two become a powerful team to protect our teeth against these acid attacks.
Where to Get Fluoride and How Much to Use:
So now that we know what fluoride is and why it is important to use, you may be wondering where you can get fluoride or how to use it, especially for your little ones. Some toothpastes do not contain fluoride so you need to make inspect the tube. for children there is toothpastes with a safe amount of fluoride for them to use twice daily.
Here are some brands we typically recommend:
- Crest for Kids
- Burt’s Bees for Kids with Fluoride
- Tom’s Natural Children’s Toothpaste with Fluoride.
- Colgate for Kids
For kids under 3 years of age they only need to use a grain of rice-size amount of fluoridated toothpaste, and that amount is safe to swallow twice daily. For kids over 3 years of age using a pea size amount of fluoridated toothpaste is perfect and they will be able to spit out the excess toothpaste.
A fluoride varnish application at your child’s twice annual dentist visit further contributes to keeping little teeth strong and healthy.
Facts about Fluoride:
Children who use fluoride have healthier teeth when adults.
Some provinces have fluoridated water, however British Columbia does not, so having fluoride as part of the routine is extra important.
- Spinach, potatoes and grapes naturally contain amounts of fluoride
- Tooth decay is one of the most common health problems affecting children, so adding fluoride can offer savings and benefits to those who need them.
- The Ion Fluorine is in the top 20 most common elements in the earths crust.
The Bottom Line:
If you are unsure about whether you should be using fluoride for you little ones, it is always best to speak to the Dentist at your child’s next visit. Call our office to book their regular check up and cleaning appointments!