Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in water and foods in varying amounts. The amount in your water depends on where you live. Fluoride can greatly help dental health by strengthening the tooth enamel, making it more resistant to tooth decay. In our area the amount of fluoride in our water is very low and not enough to have any benefit to our teeth.
Fluoride containing toothpaste is the way most of us benefit from its properties. Applications of fluoride gels or varnishes can also be of benefit for certain people, speak to your dentist about this first.
Brushing your teeth with a fluoride containing tooth paste twice a day for 2 minutes will gain you many of of the benefits of fluoride. Children especially can benefit.
- Children up to three years of age should use toothpaste with a fluoride level of at least 1,000ppm (parts per million).
- After three years of age, they should use toothpaste with a fluoride level of 1,350-1,500ppm. The level of fluoride can be found on the pack.
- Children should be supervised when brushing their teeth until they are about seven years of age.
- The amount of toothpaste that your child uses is important. Up to the age of three, a smear of toothpaste is sufficient, and between three and six years of age a pea-sized amount is recommended.
- Encourage your child to spit the toothpaste out after brushing their teeth rather than swallowing it.
See our video page to see the video on how to brush your teeth properly.