Updated: May 11, 2020
What is fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral that is found naturally in certain foods, water, and the soil.
How does fluoride prevent decay?
Fluoride helps remineralize tooth structure and can even reverse tooth decay. Whenever we eat anything that contains sugar or starch, acid is produced by bacteria that feed on these sugars. This acid breaks down tooth structure.
Saliva contains calcium and phosphate ions which replace the minerals lost during the acid attack. When fluoride is present, fluoride also incorporates into the tooth structure, making the tooth stronger and more resistant to decay.
How much fluoridated toothpaste should my child use?
Canadian Dental Association recommends a smear or grain rice size amount of toothpaste for children under the age of 3. Children between the ages of 3 and 6 should use a pea size amount of toothpaste. (See photo). Children should be supervised or assisted while brushing until they develop adequate manual dexterity to brush on their own.