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Fluoride is a mineral found throughout nature. It has the ability to strengthen the developing bones and teeth in children; and in adults, their saliva uses fluoride to strengthen the enamel in their teeth. Fluoride is found in most toothpastes and some mouthwashes. Because of its ability to help prevent cavities, many local governments fluoridate their water. If your community has fluoride in its water, drinking tap, rather than bottled water will help fortify your teeth.

Fluorosis is a condition that occurs when children receive too much fluoride before their teeth erupt. Those teeth may have white or brown streaks or spots. Often, these spots are not noticeable to anyone other than a dentist. It is a cosmetic problem and is easily correctable.

For the most part, if you use a fluoride toothpaste and brush twice a day; and drink fluoridated water, you will have enough fluoride in your system to maintain healthy teeth. Your dentist is the best judge of whether or not you need a fluoride supplement, and will recommend the right one for you or your children. Often, fluoride supplements are used for children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years old, who do no not live in an area with fluoridated water. Your dentist can administer fluoride treatment through a gel in the office, or can prescribe pills or rinses to increase a your level of fluoride. You should follow your dentist’s instructions when using the supplements.

If you are concerned about your level of fluoride, or if you are looking for a family dentist, Dr. William D. Ledford would love to meet with you. If you live in the Kansas City, Missouri, area and would like to schedule an appointment at Blue Stream Dental call 816-569-9787 today.