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How Do I Know If My Child Is Getting Enough Fluoride?

Tooth | Dental Fluoride

Fluoride is essential for your child’s teeth and bone health, and also helps prevent cavities. Too much of it, though, can discolor the enamel on unerupted teeth. So how do you know if your child is getting the needed amount of fluoride?

 

What is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a vital component of tooth protection from the never-ending battle against tooth decay. It is a naturally occurring mineral that is found in water, soil, and some foods. As a public health measure, many communities also add fluoride to drinking water to help protect teeth. Pediatric dentists have seen a significant decline in cavities in children consuming adequate amounts of fluoride.

 

What Are the Benefits of Fluoride?

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), adding fluoride to drinking water reduces tooth decay by 25 percent and is “ranked as one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.” Fluoride is essential for healthy teeth because of how it interacts with tooth enamel.

Everyone knows that excess sugar causes cavities, but do you know how? The way it happens is that bacteria in the mouth feed on sugars and carbohydrates, and produce an acid that can harm tooth enamel. Over time, acids will demineralize a tooth, weakening it.

Fluoride works to strengthen the structure of tooth enamel to help protect teeth from acid damage. It also helps create a tooth surface with an improved ability to resist tooth decay. Fluoride can help repair areas beginning to experience acid damage and can reverse the early signs of tooth decay through a process called remineralization.

Anyone can benefit from dental care with fluoride, but children’s teeth are particularly vulnerable. With regular brushing combined with sufficient fluoride intake, children can enjoy healthy teeth that can fight off tooth decay!

 

How Do I Know If My Child Is Getting Enough Fluoride?

If you live in a community that does not add fluoride to drinking water, or if your child drinks only bottled water, we may recommend a fluoride supplement to help keep your child’s teeth healthy. You can also help boost fluoride intake by having your child brush using a small amount of fluoride toothpaste as directed. Make sure to monitor young children while brushing and discourage swallowing the toothpaste.

Keep in mind that it’s also possible to get too much fluoride, which can cause discoloration. That is why it’s essential to evaluate the amount of fluoride your child is getting. During your visit to Smile Explorers Pediatric Dentistry, we will examine your child’s teeth and assess whether or not the fluoride intake is adequate based on the results of the oral exam. If not, we will recommend the needed changes or preventative treatments.

 

Visit Us Today

Contact us at Smile Explorers Pediatric Dentistry to learn more about how fluoride can help children’s stay healthy. We believe in prevention as the first line of defense against cavities and many other conditions. We look forward to working with you to achieve your child’s brightest, healthiest smile. Call today!