What Is the Right Amount of Fluoride for My Child?
Fluoride is an essential mineral for healthy, strong teeth. Your trusted team at Smiles Explorers Pediatric Dentistry is a proponent of prevention, rather than treating dental disease after it develops. Make sure to talk to us about the right amount of fluoride for your child for maximum and safe protection from tooth decay.
Why Is Fluoride Important?
As your baby’s teeth develop, fluoride helps strengthen them and make them resistant to erosion from bacteria, acids, and sugars, which reduces the likelihood of future decay. Fluoride is one of the most effective and safest ways to prevent cavities altogether. Moreover, it can help repair areas beginning to experience acid damage and can reverse the early signs of tooth decay through a process called remineralization.
How Much Fluoride Does Your Child Need?
The American Association of Pediatric Dentistry recommends exposing infants to fluoride from six months of age. The recommended dose is around 0.23 mg per day until the child is around three years old. Fluoridated drinking water will likely be sufficient to provide the needed amount of fluoride. If you don’t have fluoridated water, talk to us at Smile Explorers Pediatric Dentistry to determine whether your child requires a fluoride supplement.
Keep in mind that it’s also possible to get too much fluoride, which can cause tooth 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.
Brushing with Fluoride Toothpaste
Once your child’s first baby teeth appear, begin brushing them with a soft, child-sized toothbrush and a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste, no larger than a grain of rice. Once your child becomes better at spitting, around age three, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and have your child spit after brushing. Help your child brush until at least age five or six. Make sure you keep the toothpaste container out of reach of your child to prevent accidental swallowing. Swallowing large amounts of toothpaste can pose a risk to your child’s health.
In-Office Fluoride Treatment
Depending on your child’s needs, we may recommend preventive fluoride treatments to help strengthen those tiny baby teeth, as well as the permanent teeth developing behind the scenes. If your child does not drink fluoridated water, consumes plenty of sugar, does not brush regularly, or has signs of tooth decay, a fluoride treatment will significantly reduce the risk of developing cavities and other dental issues. The quick and painless treatment will ensure your child enjoys long-term healthy smiles.
What Is Dental Fluorosis?
Dental fluorosis happens before age eight and results from too much fluoride exposure when teeth are forming below the gums. It is mostly a cosmetic concern with no adverse health effects. To minimize the risk of fluorosis, teach your children to spit, not swallow toothpaste after use.
Quality Pediatric Dentistry in Glendale, AZ
Contact us at Smile Explorers Pediatric Dentistry to learn more about fluoride for strong and healthy teeth. Our team firmly believes in prevention as the first line of defense against cavities and many other dental conditions. We are all about healthy, happy smiles. Call us and schedule your appointment today!