Surbiton dentists offer expert advice on fluoride

Fluoride is a substance that can help the mouth to defend itself against plaque. Teeth’s natural protection is the durable substance called enamel which is on the outer surface of all teeth. If plaque is allowed to take hold then enamel can be compromised and the teeth themselves interfered with. This can lead to cavities forming in teeth and even dental decay.

Fluoride can be found in tap water and many tooth pastes too. It has been shown to reduce levels of tooth decay by between forty and sixty and per cent. For some, though, fluoride is a subject of controversy and, in the years since fluoride has been added to tap water, there have been a number of claims that fluoride can be harmful to humans.

It is certainly true that a condition called dental fluorosis can occur in young children who have too much fluoride or even swallow a significant amount of fluoride tooth paste. However this is a very rare occurrence and most experts agree on the benefits of drinking tap water that contains fluoride. Around three hundred million people around the world already do so.

It is best that children under two avoid using fluoride tooth paste but for infants above that age, fluoride has been shown to be extremely beneficial in the development of strong, healthy teeth. The amount of fluoride in tap water varies from area to area and it might be necessary to take a fluoride supplement if there are low levels of fluoride in your water supply.

Your Surbiton dentist is able to offer expert advice on fluoride, which tooth pastes are the best and how appropriate fluoride is for your young children.