The Truth About Fluoride and Your Child’s Smile
The buzz surrounding fluoride’s value for your dental health can be controversial at times. However, despite the few that believe fluoride is toxic, the large majority of dental professionals promote fluoride use for its unrivaled ability to prevent cavities, especially in kids. It is helpful to do your own research to discover the power of fluoride before you dismiss its importance for your child’s smile. After all, fluoride has been safely used in toothpastes for over 50 years, and the research speaks for itself!
How Fluoride Works
For teeth that are still developing under the gum line, fluoride is absorbed systemically. This provides the important function of strengthening the enamel before the tooth emerges. Remember that the enamel is the tooth’s outermost protective layer, and once it is weakened or damaged, it is more susceptible to decay and infection. Fluoride can also reinforce the enamel of existing teeth. In addition, topical fluoride (like those you’d find in toothpaste) can help remineralize portions of a tooth that are more vulnerable to tooth decay. You can get adequate amounts of fluoride in a variety of ways, including supplements, toothpaste, rinses, varnish (professional use) and fluoridated drinking water.
Boost Your Child’s Oral Hygiene
It is common for your child to receive a fluoride treatment as part of their routine preventative dental care. This accounts for the fact that children have a more difficult time removing plaque while brushing. Fluoride can actually penetrate stubborn plaque to deliver its protective benefits to the teeth.
Avoid Future Dental Pain and Expense
By preventing cavities through fluoride use, you’re helping set the stage of optimal dental health for your child as they grow. Less cavities means less dental visits, less pain and less expense. To learn how much fluoride your child should be getting, please give us a call at Gilreath Dental Associates. The new guidelines from the American Dental Association have expanded fluoride toothpaste use to include children 2 years old, but only a smear of toothpaste should be used at this stage.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV, Gilreath Dental Associates