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Although your body does not manufacture fluoride on its own, it is a naturally occurring mineral that is found in many places around the earth. As it has been found to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities, many local governments have added it to their water supplies. Fluoride not only remineralizes your teeth, but strengthens the developing teeth in children. Additionally, fluoride can prevent bacteria from making acids.

If children receive too much fluoride, they may develop fluorosis when their permanent teeth come in. Fluorosis is a streaking or spotting of the teeth. In most cases, it is unnoticeable except by a dentist. It is a cosmetic problem and is easily treatable.

If you and your family regularly uses a fluoride toothpaste, and your area has fluoridated water, chances are that you are getting enough fluoride. However, your dentist is the best judge of that. If your dentist thinks that a fluoride supplement is needed, he may may give you a treatment in his office. In an office treatment, fluoride is applied in a foam or a gel in a tray you hold in your mouth. For the most part, fluoride treatments are given to children from 6 months to 16 years of age, and live in areas where the water has not been fluoridated. There are also fluoride supplements that are available via prescription and of course, there are rinses and mouthwashes that contain fluoride. Fluoride toothpaste is the one of the best ways to ensure that you receive the fluoride you need, but you should supervise children under the age of six, since they may swallow their toothpaste.

If you live in the city, state area and would To have the dentist evaluate the fluoride needs for you or members of your family, call 915-593-1900 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Michael Mullen at Michael R. Mullen D.D.S..