Call us today on
01491 872394
Find us on facebook
Follow us on twitter

Simple Steps to a Perfect Smile: Fluoride

flouride in waterFluoride is a mineral found in many types of toothpaste and often naturally occurring in low concentrations in water. Everyday, minerals such as flouride are lost and gained from the enamel (the outer layer of teeth); in processes know as demineralisation and remineralisation. The acids formed during eating are what trigger the demineralisation process which can lead to tooth decay and formation of cavities.

Tooth decay is a major health concern worldwide and is one of the most common reasons for hospital admission of children in the UK.

Fortunately, this disease is entirely avoidable with a healthy diet and good oral health regime. This is where the use of fluoride comes in! When fluoride is used topically in both toothpastes and mouth rinses it helps speed up the remineralisation process, helping balance out the negative combined effects of plaque and the consumption of sugary foods.

How much flouride do you need?

The majority of toothpastes sold in the UK contain the advised amount of fluoride, as recommended by The Department of Health. It is useful to be aware of the correct amount of fluoride needed for your age category and the best way to use it in order to reap the benefits. The concentration of fluoride can be found in bold within the ingredients on the back of any tube of toothpaste.

To receive the full effects of the fluoride in toothpaste, it is important, once you have finished brushing your teeth to, “Spit Don’t Rinse”, this way you spit out any excess toothpaste whilst still leaving a film of fluoride over the enamel – giving it a chance to do its thing!

Below are the recommended guidelines for fluoride use with regards to different age categories.

  • Under 3 years: Brush at least twice per day using a smear of toothpaste containing no less than 1000ppm fluoride.
  • 3-6 years: Brush at least twice per day using a pea sized amount toothpaste containing more than 1000ppm fluoride.
  • Any age over 6: Brush at least twice per day using toothpaste containing 1350-1500ppm fluoride.
Size of toothpaste on brush

Figure 1: The difference between a smear and pea sized amount of toothpaste

Only approximately 10% of the population of the UK is supplied with optimally fluoridated water, whether naturally occurring or artificially added. If you do not receive fluoridated water it is even more important to ensure that you are receiving the ideal amount of fluoride topically through tooth brushing. To check the water quality in Goring and Streatley please visit the Thames Water website.

Checking that you and your family are using the correct concentration of fluoride toothpaste is an easy way of keeping your tooth enamel as strong as possible and it plays a major role in preventing tooth decay. I hope you find this article useful and I’m happy to offer further advice on your next hygienist visit.

Emily Pontin
Dental Hygienist

Contact us

Get in contact, and a member of our team will be in touch shortly

This website is operated by The Boathouse Dental Surgery Limited, which is registered and incorporated in England and Wales, registered no. 9306311. Its registered office is at 8 King Edward Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 4HL.