3. Yes, you can get too much fluoride, but…

The naturally occurring mineral fluoride can help prevent tooth decay. That’s not disputed.

How much fluoride is too much is the question. Because of ever-increasing sources, including naturally occurring; fluoride added to community water supplies; and what you get in mouthwashes, toothpastes, and elsewhere, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommended in 2010 to limit the amount of fluoride in community drinking water, dropping it from a previous range of 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams per liter to a flat 0.7.

Many people were concerned with cases of fluorosis, a condition that causes cosmetic white spots on teeth. But those cases are almost always mild or very mild. Still, it’s a good idea to make sure your community has safe levels of fluoride in its drinking water. Be careful how much other fluoride you use.And keep an eye out for kids. Children up to 3 should use a rice-sized smear of fluoridated toothpaste. Kids from 3-6 should use a pea-sized amount.

4. Toothpaste should be spit out, but not necessarily rinsed away.

Other than just being awfully gross, if you (or a kid in the house) makes a habit of swallowing toothpaste, you (or that kid) stand a chance of getting too much fluoride. As the tube says, don’t swallow.

But it’s not necessary to rinse afterward. He says you can rinse, but the longer the fluoride stays in contact with your teeth, the more effect it can have in preventing tooth decay.

The idea behind not rinsing is the same as it is for in-office treatments where dentists apply a fluoride-rich gel, paste, or “varnish” to teeth and often let it sit for approximately 30 minutes. Some people at higher risk can undergo these treatments several times a year. Doctors also can prescribe high-fluoride toothpaste or rinses.

5. Your teeth can be an indicator of your overall health.

One in 7 adults aged 35 to 44 has gum disease. For adults older than 65, that increases to 1 in every 4.

That’s a problem, because tooth decay and other infections in the mouth may be associated with health problems such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

I think people need to realize that the bacteria and the inflammationassociated with your body fighting the bacteria can have an effect in other areas of the body. We don’t quite understand all of this yet. But we know there’s a link.

We love our patients and love to help them form healthy dental life that will last them a lifetime. For more information call us today to answer all of your questions so get appointment today.