Whether or not you should use products containing fluoride in your dental care routine has been a highly debated topic for a number of years. Understanding what fluoride is, how safe it is, and how it can benefit your smile are all important questions to ask and Ethos are here to help.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral that can be found in your bones and teeth. It is also found naturally in water, soil, plants, rocks, and the air. Fluoride is often used in toothpaste and mouthwash to help strengthen tooth enamel, the outer layer of your teeth. It acts as a protective measure to prevent cavities and other tooth decay. When bacteria in your mouth breaks down food, specifically sugar and carbohydrates, acids are produced which eat away at the minerals in your enamel: this is called demineralisation. This process leaves your teeth more vulnerable to tooth decay resulting in cavities.
What are the Benefits of Fluoride?
The routine introduction of Fluoride in toothpastes in the 1970s was the single most important factor in the enormous reduction in tooth decay we see in children today. Using toothpaste and mouthwashes that contain fluoride benefits your teeth immensely as it can:
- Help rebuild weakened enamel
- Slow down mineral loss in your teeth
- Reverse signs of early tooth decay
- Prevent harmful bacteria growth
Potential Side Effects of Fluoride
Although Fluoride has many benefits, there are some potential dangers. Ingesting too much fluoride can lead to dental fluorosis, which is where tiny white streaks appear on the enamel. This does not affect the health of your teeth but discoloration will be noticeable and hard to remove. Young children should be supervised when brushing their teeth to ensure they always spit out the toothpaste after brushing. To avoid any issues, children under the age of seven should consider a special low fluoride children’s toothpaste. However, older children and adults are encouraged to use a toothpaste containing fluoride, as using ones without it can leave you at greater risk of cavities and demineralisation.
So, Is Fluoride Good for Your Teeth?
Overall, fluoride is great for your teeth. It helps them fight off harmful bacteria and keep your teeth healthy and strong. However, it is important not to swallow products containing fluoride and to keep an eye on children brushing their teeth. Using fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash will positively benefit your dental care routine and help maintain your incredible smile!
Do you have more questions?
The Ethos team is here to help you with any questions you may have throughout your orthodontic journey and is dedicated to helping you understand more about your teeth. If you have any other questions about fluoride in toothpaste or any other inquiries, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team.