How Fluoride Keeps Your Teeth Healthy
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BDS, Diploma in Hospital Administration, Diploma in Pharmacy
22 years experience
Fluoride is a common mineral found in several foods, such as milk and eggs. It is essential to oral health. It is so essential that many municipalities pump small amounts of the mineral into their communities' water supply.
Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, which helps to prevent tooth decay. When acids from sugary or acidic foods attack the enamel, fluoride creates a wall of defense against erosion.
It is especially important for adolescents to have an ample amount of fluoride in their diet. Adolescents' teeth are still developing and need the extra protection to grow stronger enamel. Adolescents also tend to favor sugary snacks and drinks such as candy and soda. Fluoride in their diet helps protect adolescents against such overindulgence. To help provide enough fluoride for their children, parents need to know some important facts about the mineral.
Where do I find fluoride?
Since eggs and milk contain fluoride, you should include plenty of those foods in your teens' meals. If you live in an area served by a public water supply, check to see if your municipality adds fluoride to its water.
You can also purchase fluoride-containing mouthwash and toothpaste for your kids to use. Even if they don't remember to brush as often as they should, the fluoride in their mouthwash and toothpaste can help stave off tooth decay.
If your kids need a little extra help fighting tooth decay, your children's dentist may prescribe extra-strength fluoride products for them to use. Be sure to take them for a regular teeth cleaning twice a year. Most dentists include a topical fluoride application as part of the procedure for patients from six to sixteen.
How do I keep my kids from getting too much fluoride?
Although the right amount of fluoride is essential to oral health, too much fluoride can cause adverse effects. Keep a close eye on your kids' teeth. If you notice staining, pitting, or a lacy appearance, your child may be getting too much fluoride. Make an appointment with your dentist to have them checked for a condition called" fluorosis"
If children ingest large amounts of fluoride, they may develop diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, and vomiting. For this reason, keep fluoride products out of the reach of young children. Teach your older children the importance of not swallowing their toothpaste or mouthwash, regardless of how good it tastes.
For more information about the best ways to use fluoride to maximize oral health for you and your children, contact your child's dentist. If it's been a while since your children had a teeth cleaning and dental checkup, make an appointment with their dentist today.
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