Fluoride Treatment for Children’s Teeth
Proper dental care consists of regular at-home care, dental exams, and preventative measures. There are many steps to preventative care, including brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing, dental sealants, check-ups, etc. Another preventative measure parents can take for their child’s dental health is fluoride treatment.
Fluorine is a natural element found in fluoride that helps prevent cavities. Fluoride is used in many toothpastes, mouthwashes, and can usually be found in community water supplies.
Fluoride is an important part of oral healthcare, but overconsumption can cause what is known as fluorosis. It is important that children utilize only safe amounts of fluoride to protect their teeth in order to avoid harming their overall health.
Does Fluoride Prevent Tooth Decay
Fluoride reduces mineral loss from tooth enamel, and promotes remineralization. When we eat, harmful acids can impact tooth enamel, which can result in cavities and gum disease. Fluoride prevents tooth enamel from being broken down, protecting teeth against decay and benefiting gum health.
How to Use Fluoride for Dental Health Safely & Effectively
Since community water sources and toothpaste typically contain fluoride, parents must be careful not to expose their children to too much fluoride.
For kids under two years old, they should use non-fluoridated toothpaste only, and kids between the ages of two and five should only use a small amount of fluoridated toothpaste to brush their teeth. It is crucial that parents watch their children closely to make sure they do not swallow the toothpaste, and that they rinse thoroughly after brushing.
Too much fluoride can lead to fluorosis, which may appear as white specks on permanent teeth, brown spots, or even lead to more serious complications like rough, pitted tooth enamel and irreversible damage.
Fluoride Supplements and Topical Fluoride Treatment for Kids
Your pediatric dentist will be able to help determine whether your child’s dental health would benefit from fluoride supplements. This usually depends on the child’s health history, diet, and whether they are at a high-risk for tooth decay.
For some patients, topical fluoride treatment may be recommended. Topical fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel, and can be painlessly and quickly applied during a regular dental visit. Topical fluoride comes in foam, liquid, varnish, and gel forms. It can be applied by placing a tray on the teeth, or painted on with a brush.
Find Out More About Fluoride for Kids’ Dental Health
If you are interested in learning more about fluoride for kids’ dental health, set up an appointment at Kids Dental Specialists today. Our team is happy to answer any questions you may have, and we will help determine whether your child could benefit from dental fluoride treatment.