Fluoride is a mineral which is naturally found in Canada’s water, food, soil, and air.
We have used fluoride to prevent tooth decay since the 1940’s. In fact, it has been scientifically proven to:
- strengthen tooth enamel
- lower the amount of acid in your mouth
- rebuild minerals that make teeth stronger
Sources of fluoride to prevent tooth decay
Brushing your teeth with fluoridated toothpaste helps prevent tooth decay.
Drinking water that contains an optimal level of fluoride helps prevent tooth decay.
Varnish prevents tooth decay in people who are at risk for the disease. Varnish should be painted on your teeth by someone who has been trained to do so.
Mouth rinses or mouthwashes prevent tooth decay in people who are at risk for the disease. Talk to your oral health professional before using them. Never give fluoridated mouth rinses or mouthwashes to children under 6 years of age. These rinses contain very high levels of fluoride, and young children are more likely to swallow them.
Gels and foams
Gels and foams are applied to the teeth to prevent tooth decay in people who are at risk for the disease. However, research shows that they do not work as well as varnish.
Fluoride supplements are drops or tablets. Only take them if an oral health professional advises you to.
Effects on health
Fluoride is good for your teeth, but having too much can cause two potential effects on health:
- dental fluorosis
- skeletal fluorosis