We receive a lot of questions about fluoride these days and we are happy to answer them for you. I’d like to begin by saying that a regulated amount of fluoride can provide great benefit for the teeth of both adults and children. I also respect the choices our patients make about what goes into their own bodies.
Fluoride is a mineral from the earth that is found in varying levels all around the world. In some places, heavy amounts of fluoride found naturally in local water sources have led to mottled (but very strong) bones and teeth. We have learned from these natural occurrences that controlling the amount of fluoride in municipal water can help strengthen teeth without detrimental effects. In Los Angeles, the fluoride levels in our tap water are tightly controlled so that they are neither too low nor too high.
Flouride-containing products such as toothpastes and some mouth rinses (like ACT and Prevident) can help strengthen teeth, especially for those who are at risk for developing cavities. At-risk populations include children over age 2, patients with gum recession and root exposure, patients who regularly suffer from dental cavities, and patients undergoing chemotherapy. In some of these cases we may recommend professional fluoride treatments in the office.
Talk to us and let us help you choose which fluoride products are right for you.
Like anything in life, it is certainly possible to have too much of a good thing. The amount of fluoride used to brush teeth is not toxic; however it can be very dangerous if a child were to ingest a tube of toothpaste or guzzle a bottle of fluoride-containing mouth rinse. Prescription fluoride products should be kept out of reach of children.
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