If you want strong teeth, just like your bones, make sure you are using fluoride!

Just like you drink milk to keep your bones nice and strong, your teeth need a daily dose of fluoride to make sure they stay strong too! And you can make sure your teeth stay strong by choosing toothpaste and mouthwash that contain fluoride.

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a natural element found all over the earth. It’s in the water you drink and the soil in which plants grow. It can also be found in some of the foods you eat, like strawberries, grapes, potatoes, spinach, and many other fruits and vegetables. Fluoride is found in seafood, too, since it is naturally in water supplies. Other sources of this mineral include gelatin and tea.

Most often, you’ll find fluoride in the toothpaste and mouthwash that you use on a daily basis. This mineral is often added to toothpaste and mouthwash because of its benefits to keeping your teeth strong and healthy. If you aren’t sure if your toothpaste or mouthwash has any fluoride added to it, read the label because it will list all of the ingredients that make up those products.

What are the benefits of fluoride?

The main benefit of fluoride, and why most dentists recommend all their patients use it, is because it can help prevent tooth decay—not just in children but in patients of all ages! By helping the enamel of the tooth, or the hard outside layer, it can improve the strength of teeth and prevent painful (and costly) dental work later on in life. Fluoride also helps against acid attacks on teeth from the foods and drinks you consume on a daily basis.

It’s in the water.

Drinking water is great for your body in general, but did you know that many public water systems contain extra doses of fluoride? Through a process called fluoridation, many municipalities add extra fluoride to tap water so that people get more fluoride when they drink water because of its ability to help strengthen teeth.

If you drink bottled water, check the label to see if the company adds any extra fluoride to its water. Many companies add little to no fluoride to their bottled water. If the brand you drink doesn’t have fluoride added, make sure your toothpaste and mouthwash does have the mineral so you can make sure you’re getting enough fluoride to your teeth.

Brush twice a day—at least!

The most important thing you can do to keep a healthy mouth is keep your teeth clean! You should be brushing your teeth twice a day with a toothpaste that has fluoride as one of its ingredients. Remember to use the correct amount of toothpaste when you brush: Children and adults only need a pea-size amount of toothpaste, while pre-school and toddler-aged children only need toothpaste equivalent to the size of a grain of rice on their toothbrushes.

Do you know how long you should be brushing your teeth? Dentists recommend you take at least two minutes to ensure you have thoroughly brushed every single one of your teeth.

To have good oral hygiene practices, you should also be flossing at least once a day because floss removes food particles and bacteria from hard-to-reach places between your teeth.

Special note to parents: Check out a fluoride rinse.

If you are afraid you or your child isn’t consuming enough fluoride naturally, there are fluoride rinses available over-the-counter at drugstores and grocery stores. The rinse should be used daily, but not by children under the age of 6 because they may swallow the rinse. If you aren’t sure which brand is best for you and your family, you can always ask Dr. Jeff and his team for a recommendation.

Visit Dr. Jeff twice a year!

Besides having good oral health habits, brushing twice a day, and flossing at least once a day, you should see Dr. Jeff twice a year!

Twice-annual checkups are important for many reasons. They allow your dentist to make sure you are brushing properly and flossing daily. If you aren’t sure if you are brushing and flossing correctly, Dr. Jeff and his staff will be happy to show you how it is done and offer tips and techniques to keep those teeth healthy. These biannual checkups also allow Dr. Jeff to see how your adult teeth are growing after you lose your baby teeth. Sometimes, teeth don’t grow perfectly straight, and some people may choose to get braces to help straighten their smile.

At your dental checkups, Dr. Jeff will also give you a special treatment that has extra fluoride in it to help keep the enamel on your teeth strong. Don’t worry—this is painless and only takes a few minutes.

If you haven’t seen Dr. Jeff in six months, have your parents call today to schedule an appointment for your checkup soon!