Fluoride can be found in city water, in toothpaste, and more. While this helpful mineral can be found all over nature, it’s also commonly found in dental care supplies. Here, we cover fluoride treatments for kids and how they can benefit your child’s overall dental health.
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral found in nature. Many water sources have fluoride, which is naturally found in many rocks. You can even find fluoride in the ocean! However, in most cases, these sources don’t have enough fluoride to make them useful in treating dental problems.
Fluoride helps prevent cavities. Your teeth can use this mineral to repair your enamel by returning minerals lost thanks to bacteria (the kind that lives in plaque and tartar). Keeping the right level of fluoride in your mouth can stop or even reverse tooth decay, helping your teeth stay healthier longer.
Is Fluoride Safe?
The chance of having too much fluoride, while incredibly rare, is possible. However, following dental recommendations for fluoridation and the CDC and ADA guidelines on when to introduce fluorinated toothpaste to children can keep your child even safer.
The biggest concern with fluoride is fluorosis, which manifests in white streaks on the teeth. This conduction is superficial and does not cause long-term harm or complications. Interestingly, most fluorosis cases come from well water with high fluoride concentrations. If you have concerns about fluoride dosage levels or fluorosis, talk to your dentist to learn more.
In short, fluoride is safe for you and your children and a great way to keep your teeth healthier longer. But fluoride alone can’t prevent all cavities, so brush and floss your teeth and regularly visit your dentist for cleanings.
What Do Fluoride Treatments Do?
Your child’s dentist may recommend a fluoride treatment. While you get fluoride from a city water supply and a small amount from fluoridated dental products, some patients benefit from fluoride treatments. These treatments can come in foam, gel, or varnish. These treatments only take five minutes and cause little to no discomfort. The foam treatment usually involves wearing a mouth guard briefly, while the gel or varnish treatments are painted onto the teeth directly.
The ADA recommends fluoride treatments every 6 to 12 months. However, your child’s dental team usually applies these treatments at the end of your child’s visit, making routine dental cleanings that important.
Fluoride treatment delivers fluoride directly to the teeth, providing the minerals needed to rebuild the enamel. Fluoride is just as important to developing teeth as it is to fully grown teeth, meaning that childhood fluoride treatments are helpful for children who still have their baby teeth. In addition, fluoride can help develop teeth before erupting from your child’s mouth. However, following the CDC and ADA guidelines for fluoride introduction is always a good idea.
If you’re looking for a pediatric dentist, or have questions about fluoride treatments for children, contact Smile First Pediatric Dentistry at (631) 563-7462. Our team of trained pediatric dentists can answer your questions and help you schedule an appointment. We hope to hear from you soon.