Aug 24 2022

Fluoride: An Essential Part of Your Child’s Dental Care

Girl drinking water

You give your child a variety of fruits and vegetables, and maybe even a multivitamin, to ensure that he or she is getting all necessary nutrients. But if your child is not getting enough fluoride, they could be at risk for a lifetime of cavities and other dental problems. As part of your child’s dental care, be sure to schedule fluoride treatments and ensure adequate intake of fluoride at home

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, Dr. Matt and his team specialize in dental care for the youngest patients. By offering fluoride and other treatments, we can help set your child up for a lifelong healthy smile

To schedule a fluoride treatment, routine cleaning, or other dental care, contact our office today.

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral. Found naturally in rocks, it gets into the soil and water. In developing teeth, fluoride helps to strengthen dental enamel, the outer protective layer. Once teeth come in, fluoride repairs weakened teeth and restores worn enamel. Because of this, it has an important role in the prevention of dental decay.

Daily Sources of Fluoride

Fluoride is naturally found in almost all water, but it is not enough to prevent cavities. To supplement, most city water has added fluoride. Over 75% of the US population now has fluoride-supplemented water. This has led experts to declare fluoridation one of the top health innovations of the 20th century. Indeed, since the introduction of community water fluoridation, the rate of dental cavities has dropped by 18 to 40%.

 

Foods and beverages prepared with tap water contain trace amounts of fluoride. The levels of fluoride in breastmilk are so low that they cannot usually be detected. Some infant formulas have low levels of fluoride (though this does not include the fluoride in water used to prepare the formula). There is no fluoride in most bottled water. 

 

To further increase general fluoride intake, most toothpastes contain this important mineral. Some people are concerned about ingesting too much fluoride, but if you use toothpaste according to instructions, it is completely safe. (It is for this reason that you should only use a drop of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice when brushing your baby’s teeth.)

Fluoride Treatments at the Dentist 

To provide additional protection, Dr. Matt also offers fluoride treatments. These are especially important for young children and teens, whose baby and permanent teeth are still coming in. Dr. Matt or a member of his team will apply a fluoride rinse or varnish to your child’s teeth. Properly administered, there is no risk of overexposure to fluoride, and the treatment has no side effects. At the same time, it can have tremendous benefits by dramatically reducing your child’s risk for dental decay. 

Contact Us for Pediatric Care

To learn more about fluoride treatments and our other preventive dental care, contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids. Request an appointment online or call us at (913) 685-9990.

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