Most of us have gone through the process as kids of getting regular fluoride treatments in order to help build up our tooth enamel and prevent cavities. Also, so many of us have had experience with fluoride and understand the importance of it, but are rarely proactive about it after we’ve become adults. However, what we may not realize is that in most cities across the U.S., there are trace amounts of fluoride in our tap water. The reasoning for this is to help us to receive a regular dose of fluoride in order to help maintain healthy teeth enamel and therefore a healthy smile. What has happened over these past ten years or so that drinking bottled water has become all the rage is that most of us are now missing out on our fluoride intake due to bottled water not having fluoride as our tap water does. Therefore, this default negative consequence of not drinking tap water usually means that we are getting little to no fluoride for our teeth, which effects our children’s developing teeth the most.
So what can we do to help increase our fluoride intake, especially in children? Here are 3 things we can start with:
- Start drinking tap water again – Studies have shown that children who drink tap water with fluoride, who also have access to other ways of getting fluoride such as brushing and treatments, show between an 18%-40% reduction in cavities from children who don’t drink tap water. So by simply putting down the bottle and turning on the spicket you can increase both you and your children’s oral health significantly
- Start using a fluoride based toothpaste – Not all toothpaste is created the same, which is why the pricing ranges so much. I know all of these promises made by toothpaste brands can sometimes just seem like marketing gimmicks, but using a toothpaste that has fluoride in it can really make a big difference. Especially if you’re a bottled water drinker! By just brushing with a fluoride toothpaste you can help reduce cavities by up to 45%, while toothpaste without fluoride has been shown to have a minimal effect on fighting cavities
- ACT on it – As adults and children, we should all be using ACT mouthwash at least once a day before bed (with nothing else afterwards). Now this isn’t a competitor of Listerine, it’s something totally different. Listerine does not have fluoride in it, but ACT is made specifically for fluoride intake. So add ACT into your daily dental hygiene routine and your smile will thank you
With most of us not getting enough fluoride in our systems, and with a proper fluoride intake being one of the main contributors to good oral health and more importantly saving money at the dentist. It’s extremely important (and easy) to make sure that we are getting enough fluoride on a daily basis, especially for children. So go ahead and adopt not just one, but ALL of these suggestions for getting more fluoride into your system so that you can be sure you’re doing everything possible to prevent cavities.