As a parent, you want what’s best for your child. You want them to be happy and healthy, and you do everything you can to help them achieve those things. When it comes to dental health, one thing you may not have thought about is getting a fluoride treatment for your kids. But what exactly is a fluoride treatment? Here’s everything you need to know about this important dental procedure.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral that everyone should know about – but not because it’s on the Periodic Table! Instead, it can help prevent tooth decay and keep our teeth healthy. Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral found in water and certain foods, but in some cases, dentists may recommend additional fluoride treatments for greater protection. If you’re an avid fluoride fan looking to get your daily dose, be sure to ask your dentist if fluoride will help you keep those pearly whites squeaky clean. Fluoride is great for:
- Rebuild (remineralize) weakened tooth enamel
- Slow down the loss of minerals from tooth enamel
- Reverse early signs of tooth decay
- Prevent the growth of harmful oral bacteria
Why is fluoride important?
Fluoride is an essential component of dental health. It helps to protect enamel, and therefore the teeth from decay, which can be particularly damaging in baby teeth that are expected to last until the permanent adult teeth come through. Without enough fluoride from sources like drinking water, enamel can become weaker and more exposed to harmful bacteria and acids. These are then able to erode enamel and cause painful cavities or tooth decay. Fluoride is key to supporting enamel health and counteracts such decay. Sufficient intake of fluoride throughout life is essential in order to help keep teeth healthy and free of any uncomfortable pain or inconvenience caused by tooth decay.
Is Fluoride safe for kids?
Absolutely! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the American Dental Association (ADA) have all determined that water fluoridation is a secure, yet effective means to reduce tooth decay.
However, too much fluoride can lead to fluorosis, which results in discolored teeth. It is therefore important to ensure that your children receive the appropriate dose of fluoride based on their age and other factors outlined by their pediatric dentist. If you are unsure about how much fluoride your children should be consuming or using for oral hygiene, check with your dentists for tailored advice specific to your child’s needs.
How does it work?
Timpanogos Pediatric Dentistry offers a painless fluoride treatment that only requires minutes of your time! Following the dental cleaning, our dentists will carefully brush on varnish – enriched with fluoride – to protect and fortify teeth. Not only is it fast, but you can be sure your child’s visit won’t cause any discomfort or distress.
For youthful kids, applying fluoride varnish is a much better choice than other methods due to how it solidifies upon contact with saliva. This means your kid won’t ingest or scrape off the product. We suggest that they wait at least thirty minutes before consuming anything or brushing their teeth after being exposed to fluoride varnish for four to six hours afterward.
What are other sources of fluoride for children?
Children receive fluoride from toothpaste, mouthwash, and certain foods. Many kinds of toothpaste now contain a certain percentage of sodium fluoride which is the most common form of fluoride used in oral care products. Fluoridated mouthwashes can also provide an additional source of fluoride. Foods that are naturally rich in fluoride include:
- Cod liver oil
- Tea leaves
Unfortunately, these food sources do not provide adequate amounts to benefit tooth enamel health for children so supplementing toothpaste and mouthwash with regular brushing and rinsing is still important.
Overall, Fluoride treatment is an important tool in keeping children’s teeth and gums healthy. It helps to prevent cavities and gum disease and allows your child to have the best oral health possible. Furthermore, it’s a great way to instill good oral habits from an early age, leading to even better results down the road. While fluoride treatments are simple and painless procedures, they should still be done twice yearly by a professional pediatric dentist.
At Timpanogos Pediatric Dentistry, our team of experienced professionals can ensure that your little one receives the highest quality care every step of the way. Schedule an appointment today, and take the next step towards protecting your child’s smile!