Fluoride is a chemical that helps your mouth stay healthy by strengthening the enamel which protects your teeth. It has been the subject of on-going controversy about how good it is for people; it can be difficult to establish the facts and the fiction amongst all the claims and counter claims which can be found.
Fluoride for most people will be found in the tooth paste which they use to brush their teeth with and, for many, in the tap water that they drink. Increasingly there are tooth pastes available which don’t have any fluoride in but dentists recommend that it is used so that enamel can be strengthened against the plaque which might otherwise break it down.
The introduction of fluoride into the tap water supply in the United Kingdom was met with opposition from some quarters. Many felt that it was an infringement of civil liberties to take away the choice of whether to consume fluoride or not. For some, the controversy was in the fact that fluoride as a substance can be harmful to human beings.
It is true that if fluoride is taken in too larger quantity then it can have damaging effects. A condition called dental fluorosis can occur but this is very rare and the amounts of fluoride in question are huge. Very young infants are advised against using fluoride tooth paste in case they swallow it, but adults are not at risk from fluoride.
Your Leeds dentist will be able to tell you all about fluoride but it is certain that they will support the use of it when tooth brushing. Some people like to take fluoride supplements (available from many pharmacies) if they live in an area where there is a low fluoride content in the water but using it in the form of tooth paste is usually enough.