Why Fluoride Is Important for Your Child’s Oral Health

Why Fluoride Is Important for Your Child’s Oral Health
February 1, 2022

Fluoride is a natural cavity-fighting mineral found in bones, teeth, and the environment. It strengthens teeth’s surfaces preventing tooth decay. Your child may obtain the mineral through water, food, mouth rinses, and fluorinated toothpaste. In addition, the dentist in Stockton, CA provides fluoride treatments or prescription supplements for your child.

Fluoride treatments usually are provided during regular dental cleanings and checkups. Yet your dentist can recommend them when necessary. Kids aged between six months and 16 years must have some form of fluoride daily. At these ages, their teeth are developing and require extra fortification from fluorine.

Why Do Children Need Fluoride?

We all contain some bacteria in our mouths. These bacteria mix with food particles to form acids that cause cavities. Children need fluoride since they consume many sugary foods and drinks now and then. Although kids may clean teeth daily, they may not practice proper mouth cleaning techniques. Bacteria thrive on the parts of the teeth left unclean.

Fluoride plays an essential role in children’s teeth. Your children need fluoride because:

  1. It helps strengthen the tooth enamel. When your child’s enamel is strong, they will not be at risk of tooth decay, cavities, and possible tooth loss.
  2. Fluoride is an easy and effective method of improving oral health.
  3. The mineral also aids in remineralization. It repairs damages on parts of the enamel caused by tooth decay.
  4. It reduces the harmful effects of plaque by inhibiting the growth of cavity-causing bacteria.
  5. Fluoride improves bone density. It ensures that your kid’s jaw bone is strong and healthy and can develop properly.

What Are the Side Effects of Fluoride?

Although it has several benefits, too much fluoride can cause harmful side effects. The fluoride in tap water and foods is minimal and cannot harm your child. However, excess fluoride from toothpaste and fluoride supplements may lead to complications.

Too much fluoride can cause:

  • White specks on permanent teeth
  • Teeth staining and discoloration
  • Enamel pitting

Safe Ways to Use Fluoride for Kids

The dentist in Stockton, CA, advises parents to use fluoride with care. Children as young as six months need fluoride. Use a small amount of fluoridated toothpaste to clean their tiny teeth. Kids below the age of two only need a grain-sized amount of toothpaste. Those above three years should use a pea-sized amount.

Children’s toothpaste contains pleasant flavors. As a result, they may swallow them when brushing, leading to dental fluorosis. To avoid such issues, help your child brush their teeth. If they are old enough to do it themselves, supervise them at least until age eight. Also, it helps when they do not rinse the mouth when brushing. They may be tempted to swallow the water with toothpaste.

Children under six years of age should not use fluoride mouth rinses. Keep all fluoride supplements away from the child’s reach as they may ingest them. Check with your dentist to verify that your child gets adequate fluoride. Ensure that a highly trained and experienced dentist performs all fluoride treatments on your child’s teeth.

What to Expect During a Fluoride Treatment

Below is what you can expect during fluoride treatment at pediatric dentistry in Stockton, CA.

  1. First, your dentist will require a complete health history. It aids in choosing the right treatment for the child.
  2. Your dentist will clean the teeth and dry them to enable proper absorption of the fluoride.
  3. Next, the teeth are examined for cavities. The dentist does this to know which parts require extra attention.
  4. The fluoride treatment is applied to your child’s teeth in the form of a gel or varnish. Other times, it may be a highly concentrated rinse or foam. A swab, dental tray, brush, or mouthwash is used to apply the fluoride. Ask your pediatric dentist to flavor the fluoride for a more pleasant experience.
  5. The pediatric dentist will tell you to wait for about 30 before giving your child anything to drink or eat. This gives the fluoride adequate absorption time.

Are you searching for a dentist in Stockton, CA, for your child’s oral health needs? Then, schedule an appointment with us at Valley View Dental-Stockton. We provide dental treatments and services to ensure your child’s teeth remain in perfect condition.