Fluoride is an active ingredient in many toothpastes, mouthwashes, and even in some tap water. You’ve probably heard about fluoride treatment from your dentist, but you may not be sure whether or not you need it.
Fluoride is an important part of your oral health routine as it replaces many of the minerals that acids, such as sugar or plaque, remove from your enamel. Fluoride can prevent, and in some cases even reverse, the decay caused when acids demineralize your teeth.
It is especially important in children under the age of six, as fluoride can reinforce and strengthen growing teeth.
Options for Fluoride Treatment
Luckily, it isn’t too difficult to find some significant sources of fluoride. We all have a wide variety available just by visiting the drug store or our dentist’s office. Common options for fluoride treatment include the following:
- Gel, foam, or varnishes available in-office
- Prescription tablet or liquid fluoride supplements
- Prescription rinses and pastes
- Over-the-counter rinses and pastes
- Tap water (Check if there is fluoride in your local water)
Am I Getting Enough Fluoride?
Unfortunately, there are no DIY ways to test your fluoride levels. Luckily, your dentist can easily tell you whether or not you’re getting enough fluoride at your next dental checkup. The appropriate level of fluoride varies from person to person, depending on variables, such as the amount of fluoride in the water you consume as well as your susceptibility to tooth decay.
According to the American Dental Association, everyone should do their best to make sure they regularly ingest fluoride as well as apply topically. This means you should use a paste or rinse in addition to consuming a supplement or tap water containing fluoride.
If you have any additional questions about fluoride, be sure to call our office!