Fluoride sometimes gets bad press for being dangerous for children’s health. Here are some facts about fluoride from the SmileTown Burnaby team to help set your mind at ease.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral that is found in water, food, and soil to different degrees. It functions to strengthen the enamel of teeth, and it also helps prevent and even reverse dental decay.
Fluoride intake is most critical for children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years, since this is the period during which their teeth (both primary and permanent) are developing.
Is Fluoride Safe?
Fluoride is only dangerous if the dose is too high. It can be toxic in extremely high doses, and so parents should carefully monitor their children’s fluoride intake, in collaboration with a dental professional.
Too much fluoride can also actually have negative effects on tooth enamel. It can cause fluorosis, which presents itself in white specks or brown discolouration on the teeth. This is usually the result of naturally-occurring fluoride, and is most common in children under 6.
However, when used as prescribed and with careful supervision, fluoride’s positive effects on dental health cannot be underestimated.
Why Does my Child Need Fluoride Treatment?
Fluoride treatment, or the use of fluoride rinses or toothpastes, may be recommended if your child does not take in sufficient amounts of fluoride from food and water.