Most toothpastes today contain fluoride – a naturally occurring mineral found in fresh and salt water. Fluoride is proven to strengthen teeth and help increase their protection against decay. When used by children, it even helps with tooth and bone development.
What are more ways fluoride helps your youngster? How can you ensure your child is getting enough fluoride? How much is too much?
How Fluoride Helps Your Child
Acids from food and drink are constantly attacking your child’s teeth. These acids come from specific foods and beverages such as sodas and citrus fruits. They can also come as a byproduct from decay-causing bacteria breaking down sugars in your child’s mouth. Once these acids have eaten through the tooth enamel, a cavity will form.
How does fluoride combat against this? Fluoride makes teeth more impervious to attack by hardening tooth enamel. Believe it or not, it can even aid in reversing damage from cavities when they have just begun to form.
Getting Fluoride to Your Child’s Teeth
The ADA (American Dental Association) recommends children between the ages of 3 and 6 use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste containing fluoride. Those under the age of 3 should use only a tiny smear.
In some instances, your child’s dentist may recommend a topical fluoride treatment. Topical fluoride treatments are applied directly to your child’s teeth by a dentist. The treatment is removed after a few minutes.
How Much Fluoride is Too Much?
Enamel fluorosis is a condition that results from getting too much fluoride. This condition changes the appearance of the tooth enamel. The effects of this condition are not dangerous but may require cosmetic dental work to reverse the pitting, spotting or severe staining of the teeth. The risk of fluorosis ends at the age of nine when your child’s permanent teeth have fully formed.
How to Decide
Are you concerned or curious about the amount of fluoride your child is receiving? We can help! Contact Rock Creek Dentistry today and we will schedule an exam for your child with our Auburn family dentist. We are here to ensure your child is getting exactly the right amount of fluoride for the proper development of their teeth.