A large part of pediatric dentistry is preventative dental care. One way we help decrease your child’s risk of tooth decay and gum disease is by offering preventative fluoride treatments. Fluoride is a mineral derived from the element fluorine, which is naturally found in rocks, soil, and water. Fluoride has been safely and effectively used in dentistry and dental products such as mouthwash and toothpaste for the last 70 years.
Tooth enamel is primarily composed of calcium and phosphate. When these minerals are broken down from the acids produced by bacteria, the enamel becomes weaker and can be permanently damaged. Since fluoride helps the enamel to absorb more calcium and phosphate, applying fluoride to the surface of the teeth strengthens tooth enamel. By strengthening the enamel, fluoride helps to prevent future cavities and slow the progression of current cavities.
Did You Know?
Only a small amount of your child’s fluoride intake comes fluoride treatments and toothpaste. In fact, the majority of your child’s fluoride intake (75%) is derived from drinking water, juice, and soft drinks.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Does my child need fluoride treatments?
We highly recommend fluoride treatments for your child because they minimize the risk of tooth decay, as well as decrease the severity of cavities that do form. Together, these two things preserve your child’s primary and permanent teeth. Even though your child will eventually lose their primary teeth, prematurely losing one or more primary teeth to decay can have long term effects on the permanent teeth.
What should my child expect when having fluoride treatments?
Fluoride treatments are usually performed immediately after your child has had their teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist. Once the plaque and tartar have been removed for your child’s teeth, a fluoride varnish or polish will be brushed over the surface of the teeth. Depending on your child’s preference, we offer a variety of flavors to make their treatment more enjoyable.
Are fluoride treatments safe for my child?
Fluoride is considered to be safe for use in children by a multitude of medical and health organizations because it offers far more oral health benefits than it does detriments. In rare cases, it is possible to get too much fluoride. In these cases, white specks or brown stains can form on the surface of the teeth.