May 15th, 2019
The use of the right fluoride regiment can keep your child cavity free. Fluoride has a bad reputation on the internet, but Fluoride could be the difference maker on your quest to give your child a healthy smile. In order to have the benefits without the disadvantage, make sure you have the guide of a health care provider. The amount that a child should use is based primary on age and few other factors. But it is clear how it can be the best cavity Fighter!
How can fluoride help keep your child teeth cavity free?
Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral. It helps prevent cavities, repair early damage to teeth, and reverse early tooth decay, by making the outer surface of your teeth (enamel) more resistant to the acid attacks that cause tooth decay. Fluoride can strengthens your child’s teeth and reverse early signs of tooth decay.
Our mouths contain bacteria that, in combination with sugars in the foods and beverages we consume every day, produces acid. The acid they produce harms the tooth enamel and damages the teeth. This is where the fluoride comes in handy. Fluoride protects the teeth by making them RESISTANT to acid.
After teeth erupt, fluoride helps rebuild (mineralize) weakened tooth enamel and reverse early signs of tooth decay.
When your child brush his/her teeth with fluoride toothpaste, or use other fluoride dental products, the fluoride is applied to the surface of your teeth. When the fluoride is available on the teeth, it’s get incorporated as part of the enamel. This new form of enamel, with fluoride on it, is more resistant to acid attack by the bacteria.
Fluoride is available in many different ways and concentrations. This help provide the best fluoride treatment for every individual child.
Fluoride supplementation has great benefits for your child when the use match his/her needs.
Fluoride treatment has been a study for a long time and the benefits are well documented. Nowadays, fluoride is available in a great variety of ways. With so many products in the market for fluoride supplementation, it is hard to make a decision on which product to use or even if it is necessary. For parents, the decision could be complicated because of the child’s age. Every child is different, so the need of fluoride supplementation is based on each child caries risk. A professional dental health provider can help and guide parents on this choice. With a comprehensive oral evaluation, a dentist can perform a Caries Risk Assessment for a child and determine if fluoride supplementation is necessary.
Caries Risk Assessment Factor
- Fluoride exposure
- Sugary or Starchy food or Drinks
- Family history of caries
- Early dental visits
- Special Health needs
- Patient history of caries
- Teeth missing due to caries
- Visible plaque Orthodontic Appliances
- Salivary flow.
Getting a professional opinion on need and use of fluoride, will prevent some of the disadvantages. When Fluoride is used in excess, it can cause white line on the developing teeth. These spots are call fluorosis. This is more common in children that have swallow tooth paste with fluoride. Because this occurs during teeth development , we have to be vigilant until the child is 4 years old. By 4 years old the children learn to spit the tooth paste better and reduce the amount of swallowing. Also, the teeth on the front have had complete development and the risk of fluorosis decrease.
Guide on fluoride used for your growing child.
The most commonly available fluoride supplement is tooth paste with fluoride. It is effective and can help reduce the risk of caries for up to 30% in children. Some toothpaste for children have less concentration of fluoride and are market for 2 years and older. At Little Smiles, we recommend toothpaste with fluoride later than 3 years old because of the risk of fluorosis on the permanent dentition. This is recommended for low risk patients and it is customized by the specific child needs.
Other common fluoride supplementation is mouth rinsing . Rinses that contain fluoride are recommended for children 6 years or older. It is a great source of fluoride for a child with moderate to high risk of caries. A Rinse can help prevent caries for up to 31%.
Older children with high caries risk can benefit from prescription strength toothpaste. This is recommended for children 12 and older.
A common fluoride supplement that is effective in reducing the risk of decay, is the fluoride treatment at the dental office. The treatment that most people recognize is the gel on a tray. This is a good source of fluoride every 6 months. Today, the most effective fluoride treatment at a dental office is the Fluoride Varnish. It stays on the teeth longer then the gel with less risk of swallowing.
Fluoride fact that can benefit the entire family
Regular fluoride applications can help eliminate sensitivity.
Sometimes Brushing and flossing is not enough, so fluoride could be the missing ingredient.
Because of harder to clean areas during orthodontic treatment, fluoride can help strengthen your teeth and prevent decay.
Fluoride occurs naturally in water, though usually not at a high enough level to protect teeth.
Fluoride has been recognized as an important nutrient for healthy teeth.
Fluoridation is the most cost-effective way to prevent tooth decay and build healthy communities.
Fluoride has become part of our daily oral hygiene routine and easily available. We have to make an informed decision about the fluoride supplementation on children. We can get amazing caries risk reduction with appropriate use. This is best achieved with a dental professional evaluation for your child. At Little Smiles, we can help you navigate the fluoride needs of your child.