10 Facts About Fluoride: What it Does & Why it’s Important

Parents, have you ever gone for your cleaning and been asked if you’d like to get a fluoride varnish done? If so, you’re probably familiar with the concept of Fluoride! Fluoride is a mineral that helps prevent tooth decay. As adults, it’s pretty routine to get a fluoride varnish at your annual visit, but the question is – is fluoride safe for your kids? The simple answer is, yes! Fluoride varnish is extremely safe and used by dentists all over the world to help prevent tooth decay in children. Layed out here are some facts and benefits of Fluoride!

Is fluoride bad for you?

Fluoride plays a crucial role in good oral health. For young children, only a small amount is used, and barely any is swallowed! We recommend starting your child on fluoride varnish treatments as early as the emergence of their first tooth! This can be done at their dental visits and/or by using fluoride-based toothpaste! 

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years to have some form of fluoride every day for extra protection – this can easily be provided by most tap water since they have traces of fluoride in them already.

How Is It Applied?

Fluoride varnish is painted on the top and sides of each tooth with a small brush. It is usually sticky but hardens relatively fast when it comes in contact with saliva. It’s fairly common for your child to feel a bit of that varnish with their tongue after it’s been applied, but rest assured, they won’t be able to take any of it off!

The knee-to-knee position typically works best while applying varnish to your child’s teeth as they might be nervous and/or uncomfortable with other positions. It’s important to note that applying the varnish does not cause any pain at all and is done in a matter of minutes. 

What Does The Aftercare Look Like?

When it comes to varnish aftercare, it’s pretty straightforward. Your child will be able to eat right after the fluoride treatment is applied! We just ask that you avoid giving them anything hot immediately after – so stick to cold or warm foods and drinks. 

When can I brush my teeth after fluoride treatment?

There is one other important point to remember for proper aftercare, and that is to not let your child brush or floss their teeth until 4-6 hours after the application. We even recommend just waiting until the next morning to make it easier and more effective!

What does the average fluoride treatment cost?

Typically, fluoride treatments range from $20-$50. It is highly possible that dental insurance, if applicable, will cover the cost of these treatments since it is a form of taking preventative measures. We recommend you check in with your insurances since it may vary depending on that. Dentists recommend fluoride treatment be done every six months and more often for those at high risk of tooth decay. So that’s something to consider when looking at costs and coverage as well. 

FAQs: 10 Facts About Fluoride

Fluoride is a mineral that helps prevent tooth decay. It’s super imperative to good dental health and we recommend your child gets this treatment done every six months!

Around the 1930s, scientists took to research the relationship between fluoride and tooth decay. They found that children who drank water that was high in fluoride had fewer cavities. Eventually, they determined that fluoride helps strengthen the permanent teeth under the gums of children. This is why fluoride treatments are that much more imperative for your child!

Research on fluoride-based toothpaste is said to have begun in the early 1940s by Dentist and biochemist Joseph Muhler and inorganic chemist William Nebergall. The product was licensed to Procter & Gamble and, in the mid-1950s, the team introduced a formulation containing stannous fluoride. Crest debuted nationally in 1956 and by the late 1970s, there was an impactful nationwide decline in cavities due to the use of fluoride toothpaste. Thankfully, today, all toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance must contain fluoride – which is great for you and your kids’ oral health!

Fluoride helps rebuild tooth enamel and aids in the reversal and prevention of tooth decay! It is super important that this compound makes a presence in toothpaste as it’s probably the most important ingredient of toothpaste.

There are tons of foods that contain fluoride and you might not even know it. Here is a list of some of our favorites:

  • Grapes & Raisins
  • Black tea
  • Coffee
  • Many kinds of Raw Fruit
  • Crab & Shrimp


There are tons more but these are some that contain some of the highest concentrations of fluoride!

Yes! Most tap water contains tons of fluoride, which is completely safe to drink. Moreover, dentists recommend regularly drinking fluoridated water for children and adults to strengthen teeth!

Fluoride is made when salts and the element Fluorine combine with minerals in soil or rocks. Fluoride is found naturally in many foods, water, and soil. It is extremely beneficial to bone and tooth health!

Typically, fluoride, if used in correct proportions, does not change the color of your teeth. However, if used in excess, it can cause discoloration.

No one type of fluoride can stain teeth. If used in excess, any type of fluoride can stain teeth and may cause discoloration.

Absolutely! Fluoride is essential to fight off bad bacteria in your teeth and gums.

Fluoride is Extremely Beneficial

Now that you know more about fluoride, it’s time to take action and get your kids in for their cleanings and fluoride treatments! You can even start implementing a higher fluoride diet by providing drinks like fluoride-based tap water and fluoride heavy raw fruits!

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