Fluoride is a mineral proven to help prevent cavities in children and adults. If fluoride is ingested by drinking tap water when a child’s teeth are developing, it significantly protects against decay. Drinking fluoridated water or using fluoride toothpaste, mouthwash, etc. can also help reverse dental decay at the early stages.
Fluoridated water has existed for over 60 years and has proven to be safe and effective. There is little evidence to support the claims that consuming fluoride has negative side effects. Drinking tap water that contains fluoride (or purchasing bottled water that has fluoride added), can reduce your risk of dental decay by 20-40%! It is especially important to make sure your child drinks fluoridated water while his or her teeth are developing.
Cavities form when the calcium and phosphate that make up a tooth start to get pulled out due to acid exposure (demineralization). Fluoride is a mineral capable of replacing the calcium and phosphate that is lost, therefore preventing or reversing decay at the early stages (remineralization).
Drinking fluoridated water, applying a fluoride varnish or foam at dental visits, and using fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash can help significantly reduce the amount of decay your child experiences. Fluoride is a fantastic supplement to help you and your child reach optimal dental health. You can learn more about dental decay and how it occurs if you read our article titled “Acid Exposure and Cavities.”