Fluoride treatments are safe for children as well as being an effective way of decreasing the prevalence of cavities. Our Langley children's dentist explains what fluoride is and why it's important for your child's oral health.
Healthy teeth and gums are important to your child's overall health, which is why your child's dentist will speak with you about good dental habits even before your child's first tooth appears.
One safe and effective way to strengthen developing teeth and reduce cavities in children is with fluoride treatments. The treatment recommended by your dentist for your child will depend on the child's particular dental situation.
So, what is fluoride?
Fluoride is a natural mineral found in soil, air, water and even in some foods. Fluoride is generally used in dentistry to help prevent, or even reverse, tooth decay by rebuilding the minerals that make teeth stronger.
Fluoride Treatment for Children
Your dentist will assess your child’s risk of developing tooth decay and be able to advise you of an appropriate level of fluoride protection.
For children with a high risk of tooth decay, fluoride treatment at your dental clinic can be a good option. Only small amounts of fluoride are required in order for children to receive the maximal benefits from treatment.
If your dentist recommends that your child have fluoride treatments the fluoride will be applied to the teeth in the form of a gel, foam, or varnish. These treatments use much more fluoride than the levels found in your water or toothpaste.
Your child is able to eat and drink soft cold or warm (not hot) foods or liquids right after the fluoride varnish is applied. However, your dentist may ask that you to wait for at least 4 to 6 hours, or until the next morning, to brush or floss your child's teeth.
Too much fluoride?
Dental fluorosis is a condition caused by too much fluoride during the years when teeth are developing inside the jawbone. Generally dental fluorosis is mild. Mild fluorosis appears as white, lacy markings on the tooth's enamel and is difficult to see with the untrained eye. Your dentist knows what amount of fluoride is appropriate for your child and will make a recommendation for treatment based on that.