Fluoride is the most effective way to help prevent tooth decay. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in soil, water and various foods. It makes your teeth more resistant to decay, and can even reverse tooth decay that has started.
Although the Region of Waterloo does not currently add fluoride to community drinking water, you receive some fluoride from food, water and maybe toothpastes or mouth rinses. But sometimes it is not enough so we may recommend that you use home or professional fluoride treatments, such as gels and varnish.
Fluoride and children
For kids, we generally recommend a professional application of fluoride twice a year during dental check-ups. You should keep an eye on how much toothpaste your child swallows to limit the amount of fluoride she consumes (and to make sure her tummy doesn’t get upset!). It is very rare that children develop a condition called fluorosis, which look like white spots on the teeth.
This Canadian Dental Association FAQ about fluoride offers some good information.