Every good oral care routine will contain fluorine, an element naturally found in the fluoride compound. This element has been proven to effectively prevent tooth decay and cavities and is found in most popular brands of oral care products including toothpastes, mouthwashes, and oral gels. Fluoride is also found in community water supplies.
Fluoride is essential for maintaining good oral health in Brooklyn, NY, and it is important to make sure that your children receive the appropriate amount of daily fluoride. Too little can lead to childhood tooth decay while too much fluoride can result in fluorosis, a condition most commonly found in children under age eight where white spots form on their permanent teeth.
How does fluoride work?
When we eat sugars, our oral bacteria feed on them, producing acids that damage our tooth enamel. Repetitive damage results in tooth decay, cavities, and periodontal disease. Fluoride can prevent this from happening by diminishing the loss of minerals and enamel from the teeth and promoting the remineralization of tooth enamel.
That’s why fluoride should be a part of every child’s oral hygiene routine. Similarly, reducing sugary foods in a child’s diet and scheduling bi-annual visits to the Brooklyn pediatric dentist are the keys to promoting healthy teeth.
Children on medications or who produce less saliva are most at risk of periodontal disease, but fluoride can drastically reduce their risk of tooth decay.
Are fluoride supplements recommended for children?
- Children under the age of two only need a very small amount of fluoride and should be using a non-fluoridated ADA-approved toothpaste.
- Children from the ages of two to five should be using a pea-sized amount of fluoridated ADA-approved toothpaste, twice a day on a clean brush. Remember to teach your child to spit out excess fluid after brushing their teeth. This can take some time for them to learn but is important for maintaining healthy teeth.
- Whether or not your child develops fluorosis later in life depends on how much fluoride they ingest between the ages of one and four.
How much fluoride does your child need?
To determine how much fluoride your child needs, talk to your Brooklyn pediatric dentist. Together, you can determine how much fluoride your child already receives from natural sources such as water and food, how much sugar is in their daily diet, and how much fluoride he or she still needs. If your child is at high risk for tooth decay, your dentist may recommend they take at-home fluoride supplements.
While in the office, topical fluoride can be applied quickly and painlessly to your child’s tooth enamel. Topical fluoride comes in many forms including gels, varnishes, foams, and liquids. Your dentist in Brooklyn, NY will choose the form best suitable for your child depending on their age and temperament.
Topical fluoride can either be painted onto the teeth with a brush or held on the teeth for several minutes.
To set up a pediatric dentist appointment in Brooklyn for your child or to express your questions and concerns about fluoride for oral health maintenance in children, please contact Brooklyn Dentist.