Fluoride Treatment for Kids

What is fluoride?

Did you know fluoride is a mineral? That’s right, a naturally occurring mineral! Fluoride is found in rocks, plants, oceans, air, soil, and water.

But why do we suggest adding it to your oral care routine?

Because fluoride plays a positive role in improving our oral health by helping our body build strong teeth.

preventive fluoride

Why is fluoride important?

The benefits of fluoride for oral health

The oral bacteria thrive on the sugar and starch from the foods or drinks we have every day, produce acid in the process, and attack tooth enamel (demineralization).

Fluoride penetrates the enamel layer, strengthens it, and supports our tooth enamel (remineralization).

Fluoride can help strengthen our teeth by increasing our teeth resistance to acid attacks and tooth decay and decreasing the risk of cavities by fighting harmful bacteria that cause damage to our teeth.

Fluoride is usually present in drinking water (it’s added to community water sources), and regular use of it can prevent decay and lower the risk of developing dental caries.

We receive more fluoride and promote our dental health by using fluoridated dental products such as fluoridated toothpaste or mouth rinses.

According to CDC, drinking fluoridated water reduces tooth decay by almost 25%, both for adults and children. They say that community water fluoridation has been an outstanding 20st-century public health accomplishment.

How do fluoride treatments help children?

How does fluoride help prevent cavities in children?

Your child needs healthy teeth and gums to enjoy good oral and overall health and a healthy smile. As soon as your child’s first tooth erupts, it is prone to tooth decay!

Tooth decay left untreated will increase the risk of tooth infection and even premature tooth loss in children. If children lose their baby teeth prematurely, they have a high risk of facing orthodontic problems in the future. By disrupting acid production, fluoride can remineralize your child’s teeth surface that is vulnerable to bacteria that cause tooth decay.

The incorporation of fluoride into the enamel of permanent teeth prevents acids from demineralizing the child’s teeth, making the child’s teeth more resistant to tooth decay and cavities. Giving your child fluoridated water and adding a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to your kid’s toothbrush will significantly decrease your child’s risk of dental cavities.

Fluoride treatments in pediatric dentistry

Fluoride treatments for children

Based on a systematic review, fluoride treatments effectively decrease the risk of cavities in permanent teeth and primary teeth.

Professional fluoride treatment involves applying topical fluoride on your kid’s teeth. Topical fluoride treatments may involve your child biting into a foam or a gel in a fluoride tray or using a varnish. Fluoride varnish will stop or slow down the process of tooth decay in young children and can be performed in a dental office 2 to 4 times per year to prevent tooth decay at a young age.

Fluoride varnishes are painless and may take a few minutes, and should be accompanied by drinking tap water, brushing teeth twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste, regular dental check-up and cleaning, and a healthy diet to prevent cavities improving your child’s dental health. Would you please ask your child to avoid eating or drinking for about half an hour after getting fluoride treatments?

Fluoride Treatment for Kids

When should kids get fluoride treatment?

When is Fluoride intake most critical?

Fluoride treatment is a preventive measure that a kid’s dentist may recommend for your child’s oral health, aside from encouraging good dental care habits and providing your child with a healthy diet. Children should start using fluoridated toothpaste by the age of 18 months. For children that have a higher risk of caries a fluoridated toothpaste may be recommended earlier.

Professional fluoride application may be required from a very young age if children are at a high risk of caries. Paediatric dentists: the best way of preventing dental caries in young children is by receiving fluoride from multiple sources. Ask your child’s dentist for more information.

Are there any risks associated with fluoride use?

Is fluoride safe for children?

According to the American Dental Association, using fluoride is safe and effective in preventing tooth decay both for adults and children. While correct amounts of fluoride and under the supervision of a dental professional is safe and beneficial for your children’s teeth, there’s an increased risk of dental fluorosis by receiving too much fluoride.

Your child may consume too much fluoride if they swallow toothpaste or take fluoride supplements. Dental fluorosis refers to a dental condition when a child is exposed to high doses of fluoride, which results in appearing white spots in their teeth. In severe cases, brown spots may be evident on the teeth, mostly due to the poor enamel that has formed and stained. During professional fluoride treatments, your child’s dental professional will monitor and ensure that your little one receives enough fluoride and not too much fluoride.

Should kids get a fluoride treatment?

Is dentist fluoride treatment necessary?

Yes! Fluoride treatment ensures that your child’s tooth enamel is strong enough to fight bacteria, and therefore, it will lower the risk of developing tooth decay at a young age.

Suppose your child refuses to drink tap water and prefers bottled water instead, or in case your community tap water does not have fluoride. In that case, your child’s dentist may prescribe fluoride drops or supplements to make sure your kid is receiving enough fluoride.

Most bottled water products do not have optimal levels of fluoride.

If your child is at high risk of tooth decay and your primary drinking water has a low fluoride concentration, the dentist may prescribe fluoride supplements for your kid.

Some extra tips

Pediatric dentistry oral hygiene tips

  • Most children do not receive enough fluoride; therefore, fluoride treatment is needed to prevent tooth decay.
  • Unless your child’s dentist believes that your child is at a high risk of cavities, getting fluoride treatments twice a year is enough.
  • Your child can receive fluoride treatments until they are an adult. Adults benefit from Fluoride application, and it is recommended that everyone receives professional fluoride treatment two times a year.
  • Fluoride exposure is essential from the ages of 6 months up until 16 years.
  • Since consuming high doses of fluoride could be dangerous, please keep fluoride supplements and fluoride products out of reach of children.
  • Parents and caregivers are highly recommended to use only a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste for children aged 3–6 and a smear or rice-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste for kids under three years of age.
  • Please supervise your children’s brushing to make sure they are using enough amounts of fluoride, and make sure they do not swallow toothpaste.
  • Never put off your child’s dental visits.