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Why Your Teeth Need Fluoride  

A simple explanation of why fluoride is important and it doesn't damage our teeth.

2 November, 2021
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Fluoride is often only addressed in a negative light when it comes to oral health. In fact, it’s probably more likely that you’ve heard that fluoride is harmful to our teeth and we should stay away from it. But that’s just a myth.

Fluoride is a colourless naturally occurring mineral that can be found in and throughout the Earth’s surface. It can come in liquids forms such as in water; in solid form e.g. raisins and in the form of gas like Hydrogen Fluoride.

When fluoride is used in small doses it has been proven to strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay.

How does fluoride help my teeth?

Fluoride works to protect your teeth by helping to prevent tooth decay and remineralising weakened enamel.

When using fluoride regularly/daily and in low concentrations such as in toothpastes or mouthwashes, fluoride can help remineralize weakened enamel and strengthen the structure of your enamel. 

Adults are advised to brush their teeth twice daily with a toothpaste containing 1,350 to 1,500ppm fluoride

Another way fluoride helps to protect your teeth is by preventing tooth decay. Tooth decay can happen when damage is caused to your tooth through plaque turning sugars into acid. Fluoride works against this destructive acid by blocking some of the harmful enzymes found in plaque. This, in turn, prevents the enzymes from developing the acid that weakens your tooth enamel.

How much fluoride should I be consuming?

Toothpastes containing 1,350 to 1,500ppm (parts per million) fluoride are the most effective. However, your dentist may advise you to use a toothpaste of a higher strength if they feel you are at a particular risk of tooth decay.

When fluoride is used in small doses it has been proven to strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay.

Adults are advised to brush their teeth twice daily with a toothpaste containing 1,350 to 1,500ppm fluoride. And to be careful of using mouthwash at the same time as brushing because it washes away the fluoride from the toothpaste.

Are there other ways of getting fluoride?

There are a few other ways you can get fluoride:

  1. Fluoride mouth rinses

Fluoride mouth rinses can be prescribed for adults and children over 8 years who have tooth decay. They should be used daily and in addition to your twice a day brushing with a fluoride containing toothpaste.

  1. Fluoride Varnish

Fluoride varnish can be applied to teeth by your dentist. This process involves painting a varnish with high levels of fluoride onto the surface of your tooth. Fluoride varnish treatments are done every 6 months in order to avoid tooth decay and it works by strengthening tooth enamel, making it more resistant to decay.

  1. Tap Water

This is very much dependent on where in England you live. Around 5.8 million people in England receive fluoridated water. Fluoride has been added to this water to bring it up to 1mg of fluoride per litre (this is the level it needs to be at in order to effectively reduce tooth decay).

The decision on whether you receive fluoridated water is made by individual local authorities across the country. And the areas where water fluoridation schemes are in place are:

  • The West Midlands
  • The North East
  • The East Midlands
  • Eastern England
  • The North West
  • Yorkshire & Humber

If your area is not listed above then you can find out how much fluoride tap water contains by getting in touch with your local water supplier.

Please speak to your dentist if you would like more information on fluoride and how it can help your teeth.

And if you’re in the market for a fluoride toothpaste then Enlighten’s Evo White and Tooth Serum duo care toothpaste set is the perfect place to start. Evo White and Tooth Serum are toothpastes designed with precision to ensure your enamel is being protected and strengthened with each use. Click here to shop Evo White and Tooth Serum on our website. And click here to shop on Amazon.

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