Fluoride treatments are both safe and effective in decreasing the prevalence of cavities in children. Here, our children's dentist explains what fluoride is and why it's important for your child's oral health.
Healthy gums and teeth are important to your child's overall health. This is why your child's dentist will talk with you about good dental habits even before their first tooth appears.
Fluoride treatments are a safe and effective way to strengthen developing teeth and reducing cavities in children. Recommendations for your child's treatment may vary depending on their particular dental situation.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a natural mineral found in soil, air water and some foods. Fluoride is commonly used in dentistry to help prevent or even reverse tooth decay by rebuilding the minerals that make your teeth stronger.
Fluoride Treatment for Children
Your dentist will be able to assess your child’s risk of developing tooth decay and advise you of an appropriate level of fluoride protection.
If they have a high risk of tooth decay, fluoride treatment at your dental clinic may be a good option. Only small amounts of fluoride are required for children to receive the maximal benefits.
If your dentist recommends fluoride treatments for your child, it will be applied to the teeth in a gel, foam, or varnish form. These treatments have much more fluoride than what’s in your water or toothpaste.
Your child can eat and drink right after the fluoride varnish is applied, but only give them soft foods and cold or warm (not hot) foods or liquids. Your dentist may tell you to wait for at least 4 to 6 hours, or until the next morning, to brush or floss their teeth.
Too Much Fluoride
Dental fluorosis is a condition caused by too much fluoride during the years that a tooth develops inside the jawbone. Most dental fluorosis is either very mild or mild. Mild forms of fluorosis appear as white, lacy markings on the tooth's enamel and are difficult to see with the untrained eye. Your dentist should know what amount of fluoride is appropriate for your child and will make a recommendation for treatment based on that.