Is Fluoride Important for Kids’ Dental Health?

Is Fluoride Important for Kids’ Dental Health? | Junior Smiles of Stafford

Is fluoride beneficial to children?

Children older than six months can benefit from fluoride, both topically and systemically, as it protects their first set of baby teeth and prevents decay in their future adult teeth by promoting healthy enamel. Fluoride can be administered topically or systemically to children older than six months.

Because of their inability to spit correctly, newborns and young children are more likely than older children to ingest toothpaste when their teeth are brushed. A tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash is safe to swallow, but swallowing too much could be hazardous. Therefore, when administering toothpaste and brushing their teeth, children who are unable to spit properly should be under the direct supervision of an adult.

Do babies need fluoride?

Babies younger than six months of age are often not in need of any fluoride treatment at all. A baby’s 6-month checkup with a pediatrician is an excellent time for parents to ask about fluoride supplements or fluoride drops for infants. As soon as a baby’s first tooth emerges, parents should begin brushing with fluoride toothpaste to reap the benefits of fluoride on the surface of the teeth.

It would be best if you began administering fluoride to babies as soon as their first teeth emerge by brushing with a dab or a smear no larger than the size of a grain of rice or by using fluoride-containing toothpaste. It is not necessary to use “baby toothpaste” when brushing your teeth. Any over-the-counter fluoride toothpaste will suffice in this situation.

Consult a trusted pediatric dentist about the appropriate time to begin using fluoride toothpaste on your child. 

Why fluoride is important for kids’ teeth

You must follow these instructions because tooth decay in early childhood is the leading cause of cavities in your child’s adult teeth.

It has been discovered that up to 59% of 12- to 19-year-olds suffer from at least one cavity. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control, fluoride toothpaste reduces juvenile tooth decay by 15 to 30 percent. 

Fluoride use has several drawbacks, such as the possibility of developing fluorosis, which results in tooth discoloration. The majority of cases in the United States are modest and involve white spots and opacities on the tooth enamel. However, the risk of fluorosis disappears around the age of eight.

As your children get older, dental experts recommend that you reinforce the importance of brushing after meals by helping them take care of their teeth from an early age. In addition, they should see their pediatrician and dentist once a year.

Ways to brush and use fluoride for babies and children

According to studies, using fluoride toothpaste on babies from the time their teeth first develop is critical in preventing cavities from growing eventually. Is your family up to date on the most recent suggestions for preventing tooth decay in your children as their teeth erupt and then fall out? Learn practical ideas for applying fluoride safely to maintain their teeth as strong as possible in this article.

For all infants and children

It is also beneficial to use a fluoride varnish, also known as a fluoride treatment, at least once every six months, especially for children who are at increased risk for dental decay due to the location of their teeth. When this concentrated topical fluoride is brushed over the teeth, it becomes a fluoride salt as it is in contact with saliva. 

Consult your pediatrician, primary care provider, or pediatric dentist to receive this service.

Babies and toddlers

Fluoridated toothpaste in the size of a grain of rice is beneficial for babies and toddlers as their teeth develop.

Children ages 3 through 5

Children between the ages of three and five should brush their teeth with fluoride toothpaste. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t swallow any toothpaste. Dr. Azar advises not giving kids water to rinse with unless you are convinced that they will know how to do so. Their natural instinct may be to drink the water rather than spit it out.

When your child is old enough to swish it around in their mouth and spit it out, it is also time to start rinsing with water.

All children under age 6

Over-the-counter fluoride rinses are generally not recommended for children under the age of six, according to specialists. If your child swallows the rinse, they may consume higher fluoride levels than what is suggested. 

If your child is still unable to rinse and spit even at the age of six properly, it is advisable to wait until they are a bit older — around seven or eight.

How can I tell if my child is getting enough fluoride?

If you reside in a community where fluoride is not added to drinking water, or if your kid only drinks bottled water, we may recommend taking a fluoride supplement to help maintain their teeth in good condition.

You can also increase fluoride intake by instructing your child to brush their teeth with a modest amount of fluoride toothpaste is recommended. Make careful to keep an eye on young toddlers when they brush their teeth and discourage them from swallowing the toothpaste.

Keep in mind that it is possible to receive an excessive amount of fluoride, resulting in discoloration. As a result, it is critical to assess the quantity of fluoride your child is receiving. The oral exam results will be used to determine if your child’s fluoride intake is enough. We will examine your child’s teeth during your appointment to Junior Smiles Of Stafford. If this is not the case, we will suggest the necessary modifications or preventative treatments.

Choosing The Best Dentist For Your Kids’ Retainers

Dr. Azar and the rest of the team at Junior Smiles Of Stafford are pediatric dental specialists. We are here to answer any questions you may have about children’s dental checks, pediatric dentistry, children’s dentistry, or children’s dentists in Stafford, VA, and the surrounding areas. Contact Junior Smiles Of Stafford to schedule a free consultation today. Call now (540) 699-2441.