When discussing their child's oral health, concerned parents often ask our Delta children's dentists if fluoride is really safe for kids. Here's more on what fluoride is and how fluoride is used to help keep young smiles healthy.
What is fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral that is naturally found in soil, fresh and salt water, and in a number of foods. Many communities add fluoride to drinking water to help combat widespread dental issues and to help keep teeth healthy and strong. In fact many health organizations including Health Canada, and the Canadian Dental Association believe water fluoridation helps to prevent dental problems.
Fluoride Inside & Out
Fluoride helps to strengthen teeth both when it is ingested and when applied to the teeth in the form of toothpastes or fluoride treatments done by dentists.
When we ingest fluoride (through food or water) the fluoride moves through the body and helps to strengthen developing teeth from the inside. Fluoride that is applied to the outside of the teeth helps to replace lost minerals and make tooth enamel stronger.
Is fluoride safe for my child?
The positive effects of fluoride on the dental health of children cannot be overstated. When daily intake of fluoride is carefully monitored, fluoride is considered safe for children and essential in building and protecting young smiles.
That said, too much fluoride can actually harm tooth enamel and could lead to dental fluorosis. Fluorosis is a condition which presents itself in brown discolouration or white specks or on the teeth. Typically, fluorosis is a result of naturally-occurring fluoride, and is most commonly found in children under six years of age.
Here at SmileTown North Delta our children's dentists carefully assess each child's fluoride intake before recommending a fluoride treatment.
Why has my child's dentist recommended a fluoride treatment?
When it comes to dental health, fluoride intake is critical for children between the ages of six months and sixteen years of age. During this time your child's teeth (both primary and permanent) are developing, and sufficient fluoride intake is essential for building strong teeth.
Our SmileTown children's dentists will take all of your child's fluoride sources into consideration, and only recommend treatment for your child if they are not getting enough fluoride from naturally occurring sources.