Why Does My Child Need Fluoride?

Blonde boy against a green wall smiles with a strong smile thanks to fluoride and preventive dental care at Gentle Dentistry in Tampa, FL

Good oral health habits are important for everyone, including children. Even if your child only has baby teeth, we encourage daily oral healthcare practices to prevent tooth decay. This is because strong, healthy baby teeth that fall out on their own lead to strong, healthy adult teeth.

There are many ways to reduce your child’s risk of dental disease. For example: brushing twice a day for two minutes each time; flossing daily; eating a balanced diet; drinking plenty of water; visiting the dentist for routine checkups and cleanings; and getting enough fluoride.

In this blog post, we discuss how fluoride can strengthen your child’s teeth.

What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral found in nature. In the 1930s, researchers noticed that people who drank water with natural fluoride had fewer cavities. Researchers also discovered that adding certain amounts of fluoride to community water supplies had the same effect. Fluoridated water has been so successful and cost-effective at reducing the occurrence of cavities, it is considered one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century.

Does Fluoride Prevent Decay & Cavities?

Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by remineralizing enamel (the outer layer of teeth) and reducing the amount of acid bacteria can produce (acid damages and demineralizes enamel).

The crystalline mineral structure of enamel is strengthened when minerals like calcium and fluoride are deposited in it. This remineralization reverses early-stage decay and hardens teeth against future decay.

Is My Child Getting Enough Fluoride?

Many public water supplies have added fluoride. Because the United States Environmental Protection Agency has strict safety standards, the tap water you drink has a safe amount of this decay-fighting mineral.

Traditional toothpaste also contains fluoride. Children younger than three years old only need a smear of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice. And children between three and six years of age only need a pea-sized amount.

For extra cavity prevention, patients can receive professional fluoride treatments at the dentist. This is a special varnish applied to the teeth that quickly hardens to strengthen the enamel.

Family Dental Care at Gentle Dentistry

At Gentle Dentistry in Tampa, FL, our team offers a range of preventive dental services to keep your family’s teeth healthy. We also have an in-house Dental Savings Plan for those without dental insurance.

If you have questions about fluoride or our family-friendly services, contact us today!

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Posted in: Dental Health, Oral Hygiene, Preventive Dentistry

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