Did you know that most adult toothpaste includes as much as 1450 ppm of fluoride? You can get toothpaste with this amount of fluoride from just about anywhere, including your local drug store or Walmart.
As long as you choose an ADA-approved brand, most over-the-counter options are all you need. They can help you avoid cavities, plaque, and beyond, as long as you keep up with good dental care habits.
But every so often, you might need more out of your toothpaste–specifically, more fluoride. High-fluoride toothpaste has approximately 5000 ppm of fluoride, triple what you’d have in your regular adult toothpaste.
Today, we’ll discuss not just the benefits of fluoride for teeth but why it’s worth it to consider high-fluoride toothpaste, particularly if your fluoride intake is low. Let’s get to it.
Why You Should Use High-Fluoride Toothpaste
High-fluoride toothpaste must be prescribed by a dentist. It often can be used for up to 90 days, and it is safe as long as it’s used as prescribed. Generally, prescription toothpaste with a high fluoride quantity is only for adults.
This type of toothpaste is beneficial for anyone who has cavities or has a high chance of developing them. It’s also useful for those with crowns, fillings, dry mouth, or sensitive teeth. These dental issues can make your teeth susceptible to decay, which is why your dentist might recommend a higher level of fluoride in the first place.
High-fluoride toothpaste offers greater cavity prevention than regular toothpaste does. It can prevent cavities from growing, and it can help with tooth sensitivity when you’re consuming hot or cold foods.
This toothpaste isn’t for everyone, but if you’re facing serious dental concerns, it’s worth it to talk to your dentist about your options.
What Fluoride Does for Your Teeth
The benefits of fluoride for teeth are endless. Fluoride is essential in the fight against cavities. It strengthens your enamel (the outer part of your teeth), which helps it stand up against acid (a contributor to decayed teeth). It also helps “remineralize” your enamel and turn back “early signs of tooth decay.”
Note that fluoride does not get rid of tooth decay, but by boosting your enamel’s strength, it can keep the decay from reaching your inner teeth. Once the decay gets to the inside of your teeth, it puts you at a greater risk for dental health issues. That’s why fluoride is so highly recommended.
Fluoridated toothpaste is topical, helping to build up your enamel’s defenses. You can also get fluoride from foods and drinks, including bottled water and city water (in some areas).
The Benefits of Fluoridated Water
Most cities in the United States put fluoride in their tap water to boost the fluoride intake for those who drink it in an effort to deter cavities. It’s considered the leading public health measure to prevent decayed teeth.
Generally, it is not expensive for communities to fluoridate water. It costs anywhere from $0.50 to $3 each year per individual, depending on the city’s size. Generally, the smaller the community is, the higher the cost per year it is.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), fluoride in water is safe for both kids and adults. It is shown to reduce your chances of getting tooth decay by about 25 percent.
Tri-Cities Municipal Water Fluoridation
You may need higher amounts of fluoride if your city does not fluoridate its water supply. Richland and Kennewick water is not fluoridated, whereas Pasco’s water supply is fluoridated.
It is possible that some cities do not fluoridate their water because of the risk for neurotoxicity in children. However, this risk is minor and still requires more research.
When deciding whether to fluoridate water and use fluoridated toothpaste, it’s important to consider the pros vs. the cons. Do the benefits of using fluoride outweigh the drawbacks?
We believe they do. Fluoride offers powerful dental protection that can help you avoid tooth decay and everything that comes with it, including cavities (when used regularly).
Which toothpastes have the highest fluoride content?
Colgate® PreviDent® 5000 Booster Plus (1.1% Sodium Fluoride) Prescription Strength Toothpaste is among the highest fluoridated toothpastes available. You can only get it by having your dentist put in a prescription.
According to Colgate, it provides quadruple the amount of fluoride of other toothpastes and mouthwashes available. It’s best for those facing a high chance of cavities or those who recently had dental work done to the crown or bridge.
On the over-the-counter side, we recommend Crest Pro-Health Advanced. It is 0.454% stannous fluoride, helping fight against cavities, gingivitis, and tooth sensitivity.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not recommended to rinse your mouth after using toothpaste of any kind (including those with a high-fluoride quantity). All you’ll need to do is spit out the excess toothpaste once you’re done brushing and avoid drinking or eating anything until a half-hour or so post brushing.
Ask your dentist about topical fluoride treatments.
If you live in Richland, Kennewick, or another area without fluoridated water, you might consider a topical fluoride treatment. This is essentially a high amount of fluoride in a liquid or gel form, which is applied to your teeth.
It does not hurt, and it is quick to put on. Topical fluoride treatments often contain a great deal more fluoride than what the average person takes in from toothpaste or city water. That makes it integral in cavity prevention, especially when combined with regular use of high-fluoride toothpaste.
If you live in a city without fluoridated water, or you’re at high risk for dental issues, your dentist may prescribe high-fluoride toothpaste or a topical fluoride treatment. You may also get fluoride from over-the-counter toothpaste.
While store-bought toothpaste doesn’t contain as much fluoride as prescription toothpaste, certain brands level up the fluoride content to support good dental health. Regardless of which fluoride option you choose, the important thing is that you have the right amount of fluoride to fight back against cavities.
Concerned about your fluoride intake? West Richland Family Dental Care would love to discuss your options. Reach out today to schedule a dental visit.