Fluoride treatments are effective in decreasing the prevalence of cavities in children, and they're safe. Our Delta children's dentist explains what fluoride is and why it's important for your child's oral health.
Healthy teeth and gums are important elements of your child's overall health. That's why your dentist will likely begin talking to you about establishing good dental habits for your child, even before their first tooth appears.
Recommendations for your child's dental treatment may vary depending on their unique situation, but fluoride treatments are a safe and effective way to help strengthen developing teeth and reduce cavities.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a natural mineral found in air, water, soil and some foods. Fluoride is often used in dentistry to help prevent or even reverse tooth decay by rebuilding the minerals that make your teeth stronger.
Fluoride Treatment for Children
Each child is unique. 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.
For children who have a high risk of tooth decay, fluoride treatment at your dental clinic might be a good option. For children, maximal benefits can be achieved with only small amounts of fluoride.
Fluoride treatments are applied to the teeth in the form of a gel, foam, or varnish. When your child has a fluoride treatment done at a dental office there is much more fluoride in the treatment than you will find in water or toothpaste.
Your child we be able 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. In some cases your child's dentist may tell you to wait for at least 4 to 6 hours before brushing and flossing.
Too Much Fluoride
The condition dental fluorosis is caused by too much fluoride during the years when teeth are developing. Generally dental fluorosis is either very mild or mild. The main sign of mild dental fluorosis is white lacy markings on the tooth's enamel. These markings are very difficult to see with the untrained eye. Your dentist will know what amount of fluoride is appropriate for your child and will make a recommendation for treatment based on that.