Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay, especially when used in combination with other treatments like regular brushing and flossing. Fluoride is found naturally in foods such as vegetables, fish, and grains. It’s also present in drinking water supplies and toothpaste.
Fluoride treatments can help protect children from tooth decay but should only be used under the guidance of a dentist.
The use of fluoride treatments may help your child’s teeth stay healthy and strong. Fluoride treatments have been found to prevent more than 90% of cavities in children. Strengthening tooth enamel and reducing sensitivity are other benefits of fluoride treatments.
However, not all children require fluoride therapy—and there are a few things to consider before deciding if your child could benefit from treatment?
What are fluoride treatments?
A topical application of fluoride to the teeth is known as fluoridation. Fluoride is a mineral that aids in the prevention of tooth decay. It may be found in drinking water, certain foods and beverages, and toothpaste.
A dentist or hygienist uses fluoride varnish, gel, or foam to strengthen the enamel and decrease cavities on each tooth’s surface. All surfaces of each tooth, including deep grooves where germs can develop, are coated during treatment.
Why do kids need fluoride treatments?
Teeth are composed of enamel, which is made of minerals including calcium, phosphorus, and fluoride. Bacteria can feed on leftover food particles and sugars in the mouth if there is not enough fluoride or if sugary meals are eaten, causing plaque to build up. The plaque causes the formation of acids that erode enamel over time, resulting in tooth decay and cavities.
Aside from fluoride treatments, having your child’s teeth cleaned on a regular basis is critical so that any problems can be detected before they become serious.
Does your child need fluoride treatment?
Before deciding whether your child requires a fluoride treatment, you should think about a few things. These are some of the factors to consider:
- Your child’s likelihood of getting cavities. If your child has a high or moderate risk of tooth decay, fluoride therapy can help reduce their chance of developing it. If there is little danger of cavities, fluoride treatment is probably not required.
- The age of your child. Most children require fluoride treatments as their teeth are still developing.
How is a fluoride treatment given?
A dentist or a dental hygienist can apply fluoride gels to your kid’s teeth as part of a regular dental appointment. The kind of treatment is determined by age and other factors.
What are the side effects?
- People who are allergic to fluoride shouldn’t get treatments.
- Excess fluoride can cause fluorosis, a condition in which the teeth develop white spots.
- Dental fluorosis, or discolored or stained teeth, can sometimes be caused by fluoride treatments.
- Fluoride treatments may increase tooth sensitivity.
How Fluoride Treatments Can Benefit Your Child’s Teeth
Fluoride treatments can help protect your child’s teeth from cavities.
The American Dental Association (ADA) advises fluoride treatments for children six months old and older who are at risk of developing cavities, such as those who brush less than twice a day or don’t consume adequate nutrients on a daily basis.
The ADA also advises parents to use fluoride drops on their infants as soon as they can chew and swallow because the infant’s immune system needs time to develop enough to fight germs in the mouth.
Could Your Child Benefit From a Fluoride Treatment?
Fluoride treatments are not necessary, but they can be helpful. They should never be used to substitute for good oral hygiene or regular dental checkups and cleanings, though.If you have questions about whether your child should have a fluoride treatment, contact us to schedule an appointment.