London City Smiles

Fluoride: What is it and why do we need it?

When searching for a new toothpaste, there’s one thing you’ll find in common amongst the sparkling packaging – fluoride. Fluoride is the most essential ingredient in any toothpaste and the main reason most of us commit to brushing our teeth twice a day. However, fluoride is still greatly misunderstood. Here’s a quick rundown on what fluoride is and why your teeth will be thanking you for using it. 


What is it?

Fluoride occurs naturally in your bones, teeth and in water throughout the world. An entirely organic mineral, fluoride has been found to help strengthen the foundations of your teeth. Many countries purposefully add fluoride to drinking water – starting in Birmingham in the 1960s and cities in the US. The amount of fluoride in water or food is dependent on a number of factors. While there were concerns that overuse of fluoride may have side effects, a substantial amount of studies have proven that this isn’t the case. 


Why do we need it?

Ultimately, fluoride is the main weapon we use in the fight against tooth decay. Whether that’s in water, food or your toothpaste, fluoride is fantastic for building up the enamel on the outer layer of each tooth. Strong enamel means less chances of experiencing different forms of painful tooth decay. A consistent and efficient brushing routine, twice a day using fluoride toothpaste, is the best way to ensure your teeth are getting the protection they need. Simply put, if you want to avoid those nasty cavities, fluoride is your best friend. 


Where can I find Fluoride?

Different toothpastes contain varying amounts of fluoride. Your dentist will be able to recommend a suitable amount for your teeth, but the average is between 1350ppm and 1500ppm (parts per million). For your children, the ideal fluoride levels would be at least 1000ppm. As mentioned previously, fluoride is naturally occurring in water supplies and food, with the average cup of tea containing 0.5 milligrams of fluoride. 


Even though you can get fluoride from various other sources, using fluoride toothpaste dramatically decreases your chances of getting any form of cavities, tooth decay or weak enamel. Make sure your toothpaste contains enough fluoride, maintain that brushing routine and keep up that dazzling smile. If you’re interested in the benefits of fluoride and want to find out which toothpastes are perfect for you, feel free to contact our dental practice today.