Is your child getting enough fluoride? We’ll let you know.
Your child’s happy and healthy smile is our priority at Dentistry for Children, and we want to help keep it bright and white any way we can! Fluoride treatments are a great way to increase the overall health of your child’s teeth and gum and prevent tooth decay.
During your child’s dental visit, our pediatric dentist checks to see if fluoride treatment is needed at that appointment, and always makes sure to follow American Academy of Pediatric standards for your child’s oral health.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride, often found in drinking water, is a compound made up of the natural element fluorine and can be used in small amounts to help prevent tooth decay. Many dental products contain fluoride as an active ingredient to be used on a daily basis to help your child obtain a bright and healthy smile.
Why Fluoride Treatment Helps Children
Fluoride inhibits loss of minerals from tooth enamel and encourages strengthening the weakened areas of the tooth. Fluoride also affects bacteria that causes cavities, discouraging acid attacks that break down the tooth. The risk of decay is reduced even more when a fluoride is combined with a healthy diet and good oral hygiene.
Topical fluoride, typically a varnish or gel, is applied directly to tooth enamel as a preventative measure. Following a routine cleaning, your child’s dentist or dental professional will “paint” the varnish directly on their teeth. After the treatment is applied, have your child avoid crunchy foods and hot drinks, but will be able to eat or drink as usual. For up to 4 to 6 hours, have your child avoid brushing and flossing to ensure the fluoride treatment can achieve its maximum benefits.
How Safe is Fluoride?
Using fluoride for the prevention and control of decay is proven to be both safe and effective. It is a great benefit in keeping teeth healthy. Nevertheless, all products containing fluoride should be stored out of the reach of young children and use should be monitored by the parent. Fluoride is only dangerous when used in extreme and excessive amounts.
How is Fluoride Applied?
Fluoride varnish is painted on by a small, soft brush. The varnish is a sticky substance, but hardens once it comes in contact with saliva, is not painful and only takes a few minutes to apply. Only a small amount is used and will quickly help your child’s smile become bright and healthy!
What are the Possible Side Effects of Fluoride?
Fluoride treatment is safe and utilized by pediatric dentists all over. Only a small amount should be used for treatment. Using fluoride in large amounts can result in dental fluorosis – small, white specks or streaks in the tooth’s enamel. The overall health of the teeth is not affected, but may cause noticeable discoloration of the teeth. If you have any concerns or questions, talk to your child’s dentist during their next visit.