Use fluoride products
Fluorides reduce the action of bacteria that cause tooth decay and make teeth more resistant to their action. They are added to some dental products.
Fluorides help keep the mouth healthy. They make tooth enamel stronger and are a safe and effective way to prevent tooth decay. They can also stop cavities from getting bigger and, in some cases, even help reverse early-stage cavities.
Fluoride is found in:
- fluoride toothpaste
- Fluoride toothpaste is recommended to prevent tooth decay and strengthen tooth enamel. Fluoride toothpaste generally contains between 1,100 ppm and 1,500 ppm of fluoride.
- In some cases, dentists may recommend using a toothpaste with a higher concentration of fluoride (5,000 ppm of fluoride).
- fluoride mouthwash
- Helps prevent cavities and reverse early-stage cavities. However, using mouthwash does not replace brushing the teeth or flossing.
- fluoride supplements
- Fluoride supplements, in the form of tablets or drops, can help prevent tooth decay. Only children who are at risk of getting cavities and who live in areas where the water is not fluoridated should take fluoride supplements. The exact dose of fluoride supplements depends on the child’s age and the amount of fluoride in the water in the area he lives in. Parents must consult a dentist to find out if their child needs to take fluoride supplements.
- fluoridated water (in some municipalities)
- Drinking fluoridated water is the simplest and most effective way to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride can be found naturally in water. Water that contains a sufficient amount of fluoride is known to have beneficial effects and helps prevent tooth decay. Some municipalities add fluoride to drinking water so that it contains the ideal amount to prevent tooth decay. This process is called “water fluoridation”. Contact your municipality to find out if your water is fluoridated. To learn more, go to the Fluoridation of Drinking Water page.
Last update: July 16, 2018