Child brushing safely with fluoride toothpaste

Fluoride Safety and Effectiveness

You may have noticed that when it comes to fluoride, there is a lot of conflicting information to be found, especially with regards to children.

Some studies say children should start with a smear of fluoride toothpaste before they reach the age of two. Others say no fluoride toothpaste until that age, and then only a pea-sized amount. And there are people who will tell you that fluoride is dangerous and should be avoided at all cost.

With all of this information floating about, the issue of whether or not to use fluoride can be a confusing one. The staff at Platinum Dental Care are here to address your questions and concerns regarding fluoride or any other dental concerns you may have. Call our Toronto, ON dental office today at (416) 783-8686 to speak with a member of our caring staff, or to schedule an appointment.

Fluoride and Children

Recent studies by the American Dental Association have concluded that in children under six years of age, brushing with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste is very effective in controlling tooth decay. Smaller children are at greater risk of swallowing toothpaste, which can lead to mild fluorosis, a condition which can cause stains on the teeth.

The studies found that starting children on fluoride toothpaste after their second birthday significantly decreased the odds of developing fluorosis compared to children using it before that age.

When comparing the odds of developing fluorosis to the high rates of dental caries (cavities) in children, researchers concluded that children under two should brush with water, while a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste should be used between the ages of two and six. Children should be monitored by parents to ensure that they spit the toothpaste out, rather than swallowing it.

Fluoride and Adults

Research shows that the use of topical fluorides such as toothpaste, mouth rinse, and professionally applied foams and gels can not only stop the tooth decay process, but also make the enamel more resistant to future decay. Fluoride also helps prevent root decay, as it is incorporated into the structure of the root’s surface. When used regularly, topical fluorides will protect your teeth and prevent needless pain, suffering, and loss of teeth, as well as saving you vast sums of money needed for dental work.

Water Fluoridation

Fluoride is naturally present in all foods and beverages to some extent. The fluorides we ingest into our body are referred to as systemic fluorides. In the early 20th century, researchers found a high concentration of fluoride in the water supply of Colorado Springs, CO. They found that the native-born residences had an unusually high resistance to cavities due to the high levels of fluoride, and a movement was born to incorporate fluoride into all public water supplies.

Fluorides that are regularly ingested while teeth are developing are deposited through the entire surface of the tooth. They protection these fluorides provide lasts longer than that provided by topical fluorides. These fluorides are also present in saliva, helping to provide extra topical protection for your teeth. The recommended amount of fluoride in a community is enough to provide extra protection for your teeth, while remaining low enough to keep the likelihood of severe fluorosis near zero. There are no known harmful effects from the ingestion of fluoridated water within these guidelines.

Call Us With Questions

If you have questions about fluoride pertaining to yourself or your child, call our Toronto, ON dental office at (416) 783-8686 to speak to a member of our helpful staff. We are happy to address your concerns and help you schedule an appointment.