By following the guidelines and right portions, fluoride is safe and recommended for children as it offers a significant number of benefits. Brushing and flossing alone are not enough to protect your teeth. Fluoride makes your child’s teeth healthy and protected to cavities, and it also helps repair the early stages of tooth decay.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is found in all water sources, including the ocean. Research showed the effectiveness of fluoride in fighting cavities in 1930. Children who grew up drinking tap water had less tooth decay than people living in areas without access to fluoridated water. The American Dental Association and the World Health Organization have endorsed fluoride in water supplies because of its effect on tooth decay and has been referred to as nature’s cavity fighter.
There are two ways fluoride can help teeth in two ways. First is when your child eats food or drinks beverages that have fluoride in small doses, it reaches the bloodstream and becomes part of their developing permanent teeth. Second, when fluoride became part of the saliva to help strengthen teeth by decreasing the ability of acids to damage tooth enamel. Thus, this process keeps your teeth healthy while preventing cavities and tooth sensitivity.
It is vital to understand how to introduce fluoride to kids to start proper oral care. When teeth begin to emerge, fluoride helps develop the enamel so that it becomes as hard as it needs to resist cavities and decay. According to the American Dental Association, parents should follow these guidelines once the teeth come in:
- Parents and caregivers of three years old and below should brush teeth with fluoride toothpaste as small as a rice grain. Whereas, for children, three to six years of age, a pea-sized amount should be used.
- For children six years and above, start introducing mouthwash with fluoride to add cavity-fighting power.
- Encourage your kids to spit out toothpaste after brushing to prevent dental fluorosis.
Children are more susceptible to cavities leading to tooth decay because they are consuming foods high in sugar and starch. More so, kids have a higher chance of developing cavities because the enamel on baby teeth is more sensitive than permanent teeth. As stated by ADA, fluoride combines with the minerals in enamel to form fluorapatite, making the enamel stronger against acids.
Keeping your child’s oral health in check is more than brushing and flossing. Fluoride plays an essential role in the healthy development of their teeth and cavity prevention. Make sure to visit your child’s dentist every six months or twice a year to examine if he or she uses the right amount of fluoride.
We, at Kidsmile, are passionately dedicated to providing quality dental care for your child. Our goal is to partner with you to help your child establish and achieve excellent oral health.
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