Is Your Child Getting Enough Fluoride? We’ll Let You Know.
You may be wondering if your child gets enough fluoride. Our dental team here at Coulter & Casper Pediatric Dentistry in Washington, D.C. is here to help you out and set your child up for a lifetime of healthy smiles!
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a compound that contains fluorine, a natural element, and is found in drinking water. Implementing the use of fluoride into your child’s dental health routine can help prevent tooth decay and keep those teeth bright. Most dental products, such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, and varnish treatments, contain fluoride as an active ingredient.
Why Fluoride Treatment Helps Children
Fluoride treatment is effective in preventing tooth decay leading to cavities in children. Your child’s dentist will apply the fluoride gel or varnish at their routine cleaning to help promote a healthy mouth beyond the dentist office. Although fluoride does not completely prevent cavities, it is helpful in reducing the risk of cavities and helps prevent tooth decay while your child also maintains optimal oral health habits at home.
Fluoride Helps Prevent Cavities in Kids
Fluoride actually helps slow the process of tooth decay. It remineralizes tooth enamel and helps strengthen weakened areas of a tooth. Sugar and refined carbohydrates found in our diet produce acid that may remove the minerals we need to keep our teeth in tip-top shape. Between a healthy diet, fluoride treatment and good oral hygiene, we can lower the risk of decay and keep our teeth strong and solid!
Topical fluoride is a preventative agent applied directly to tooth enamel on the chewing surface of our teeth. Fluoride varnish is brushed on or “painted” on the tooth by your child’s dentist or dental professional. Following the fluoride treatment is applied, your child will be able to eat or drink, avoiding crunchy food items and hot beverages. Avoid brushing and flossing for 4 to 6 hours after fluoride treatment to achieve the maximum benefit of keeping your child’s teeth clean and strong.
What are the Benefits of Fluoride?
Fluoride helps prevent the development of tooth decay and remineralizes tooth enamel. Its ability to reduce tooth decay also helps protect your child’s teeth from cavities. Fluoride is a safe and effective treatment for keeping your child’s smile happy and healthy.
Is Fluoride Safe for My Child?
Using fluoride for the prevention and control of decay is proven to be both safe and effective and provides many benefits for keeping teeth healthy. Nevertheless, fluoride use should be monitored by the parent and kept out of reach of young children when stored. Fluoride treatment is a great source when used appropriately and is only found dangerous when used in extreme or excessive amounts.
How is Fluoride Applied?
Fluoride is brushed or “painted” on by your child’s dentist. Fluoride varnish is sticky when applied but hardens as it comes in contact with saliva. The procedure is not painful and only takes a few minutes to apply.
What are the Possible Side Effects of Fluoride?
Fluoride should not be used in excessive or extreme amounts. Exposure to a high concentration of fluoride can result in mild dental fluorosis. This results in discoloration of teeth, such as tiny white streaks or specks, but it does not compromise the health of the teeth. It is important to remember that, as with many substances, fluoride is helpful in small amounts, but should not be used excessively in large quantities.