Having healthy teeth is key in ensuring your child is healthier and happier. Kidsmile recommends a fluoride treatment in order to prevent tooth decay and maintain healthy teeth.
But what exactly is fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral that is naturally present in our bones and teeth. It is also found naturally in water. Fluoride helps in building strong teeth and preventing cavities. Fluoride supports healthy tooth enamel, the outer protective layer of the teeth. Fluoride also fights the bacteria that harm the teeth and gums.
Fluoride prevents cavities
Fluoride is a compound that contains fluorine, a natural element. It inhibits the loss of minerals from the tooth’s enamel and encourages remineralization, which can strengthen areas that are weakened or starting to develop cavities. Fluoride also affects harmful bacteria that cause cavities and discourages acid attacks from sugars and carbs that break down the tooth. The risk for tooth decay is also reduced when fluoride is combined with a healthy diet and good oral hygiene. Fluoride varnish application, a fluoride treatment, has been a practice in the oral health industry for decades. Your child’s dentist can do this on your child’s next appointment.
Fluoride for children
For children under 3 years old, close supervision is needed while they brush their teeth. Apply only a thin layer of fluoride toothpaste to their toothbrush. The toothpaste should cover less than half of the bristles or be no bigger than a grain of rice.
For children ages 3 to 6 years old, fluoride toothpaste the size of a pea is recommended. You should also watch your children to ensure they spit the toothpaste out while brushing.
Once your child reaches 2 years old, the dentist may recommend fluoride varnish application already and this is usually done at least twice a year. This will provide added protection for your child’s teeth against cavities and tooth decay.
Watch our video below on how to choose your child’s toothpaste.
What can parents expect?
On the day of application
Fluoride varnish application does not hurt and it only takes a few minutes. Your dentist will directly apply the fluoride on the surface of your child’s teeth using a small brush. Usually, the fluoride varnish comes in a form of gel and with a welcoming taste.
Note though that fluoride varnish won’t be applied if your child has sore areas in the mouth. Some children may take fluoride drops or tablets instead but these should not be taken for two days after the fluoride varnish application.
After the application
The fluoride varnish should remain on your child’s teeth for the rest of the day and sometimes overnight, to provide the most benefit. Your child may be asked also to not take in any liquids for the next 30 minutes after the fluoride varnish has been applied.
Please make sure:
- To not brush your child’s teeth the night of the application but from the day after. Brush them at least twice daily, in the morning and last thing at night using a toothpaste containing at least 1000-1500 parts per million (ppm) fluoride.
Visit your child’s Pediatric Dentist to plan out the best treatment for them.
Fluoride Varnishing | child-smile.org.uk
What Are the Benefits, Side Effects, and Recommendations for Fluoride Treatment? | healthline.com
Fluoride | MyKids’ Dentist & Orthodontics
Fluoride Varnish: What Parents Need to Know | healthychildren.org