Fluoride for Children, Why Use?
Cavities are the most common dental problem in the United States. Fluoride is one of the most effective and safest ways to prevent cavities for children.
How Does Fluoride Work?
Our mouths contain bacteria that feed on the sugars from the foods and drinks we consume. It results in the production of acid that can wear away our tooth enamel. The erosion of the enamel results in cavities long-term.
Fluoride strengthens the teeth, making you more resistant to acid. It not only lowers the risk of cavities but can also help reverse the early symptoms of decay.
How Children Can Benefit From Fluoride
One of the simplest ways for children to benefit from fluoride is drinking fluoridated tap water. The water contains healthy levels of fluoride, which can reduce tooth decay in children by 18 to 40 percent.
Most communities in the U.S. have access to fluoridated tap water. You can also find fluoride from children-friendly fluoride-based toothpaste. Fluoride supplements are also beneficial.
Who Should Get Extra Fluoride?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, children aged between 6 months and 16 years should use fluoride every day. If you don’t have access to fluoridated tap water, consult your pediatric dentist for the appropriate fluoride supplements that are suitable for your children’s ages. These are available as either tablets or drops, which are taken each day orally.
The dentist typically prescribes the amount of fluoride based on the age of the child, as well as the amount of fluoride in the drinking water for your area. Your child may also find sufficient fluoride from brushing and from foods prepared with fluoridated tap water.
It’s also worth noting that too much fluoride can lead to dental fluorosis. Children are more prone to dental fluorosis than adults because their teeth are more sensitive to the substance. The condition doesn’t affect the teeth that have already erupted, though.
Don’t hesitate to consult your dentist if you notice unusual changes in your child’s teeth. You want to deal with any dental issues early before they progress into more serious and costly problems.