For both children and adults, fluoride is said to be one of the safest ways we can prevent cavities and tooth decay. Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral. Aside from the daily brushing, we can help our children have healthier teeth and gums through fluoride use. Here are some fast facts about fluoride and how it will benefit your child’s developing teeth.
Fluoride is necessary to develop stronger teeth
Fluoride protects your child’s teeth by making them resistant and stronger. The teeth’s regular contact with small amounts of fluoride thru drinking fluoridated water and using a fluoride toothpaste twice a day benefits children and adults alike who are considered at low risk for tooth decay cavity-free. Meanwhile, people who are considered at high risk can benefit from additional fluoride exposure. Examples of this are through fluoride varnish application and the use of fluoridated mouthwash.
Fluoride is naturally present in all water
Find out the fluoride content of your family’s drinking water source. Locally, most drinking water refilling stations do not add any fluoride to the water. If your provider uses a purification process called reverse osmosis, up to 95% of the fluoride is removed from the water. In case you primarily consume drinking water from commercially bottled ones, you can check with the bottled water manufacturer to find out if fluoride is added.
Fluoride is a basic component of your child’s dental development
Our children’s mouths have cavity-causing bacteria that feed on the sugars from food and drinks that they consume. Sugars turn into harmful acids which in turn put a strain on your child’s tooth enamel – the hard, outer layer of the teeth. Fluoride combats this problem by shielding your child’s tooth enamel and resisting the build-up of cavities.
Children below 6 years old may develop fluorosis if they ingest more fluoride than needed
When it comes to fluoride use, we need to understand that having more fluoride does not equate to better dental health, especially to our kids. Why? This is because taking in too much fluoride can lead to fluorosis, a dental condition that affects our children’s developing teeth. That is why as parents, as much as possible, we need to supervise our kids whenever they brush their teeth. Kids might use too much toothpaste and inadvertently swallow some instead of spitting it out.
If your child is prone to tooth decay, consider fluoride varnish application as added protection
Dental fluoride treatments prevent cavities by strengthening the teeth. Dental fluoride treatments may even treat very early forming cavities. The application of fluoride varnish is a quick and painless process. It is safe and used by many dentists to help prevent cavities in pediatric patients. The fluoride varnish easily dries after application. Ask your child’s dentist to know more about this the next time you visit Kidsmile.
2014 Fast Facts: American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry https://www.aapd.org/assets/1/7/FastFacts.pdf
Fluoride Facts, American Dental Hygienists Association https://www.adha.org/resources-docs/7253_Fluoride_Facts.pdf
Fluoride Varnish: What Parents Need to Know, HealthyChildren.org https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/oral-health/Pages/Fluoride-Varnish-What-Parents-Need-to-Know.aspx