Fluoride is a mineral found in soils and water sources. The water that enters many homesteads has added fluoride. The question arises with this mineral: is fluoride a friend or foe? This question usually concerns parents when introducing fluoride as a part of their kids’ oral hygiene regimen.
This article will help you answer this question by looking at fluoride treatment for kids and what benefits this treatment have.
Fluoride treatment involves using varnish to reduce tooth decay or prevent it. Fluoride varnish is made of a high level of fluoride that is applied to your child’s teeth to strengthen the tooth enamel making it resistant to decay and cavities.
When you take your kid to the dentist, they will first look at your child’s teeth. In addition, the dentist will ask about the child’s dental history if this is not the first time in the dental clinic. The dentist will prefer using a varnish compared to using foam or gel.
The fluoride treatment is then applied with a tray, mouthwash, or brush. This will take a few minutes.
It is important to note that fluoride treatment is not recommended for children under the age of 3. Therefore, children under that age should be helped brush their teeth to keep tooth decay at bay.
Children between 3-6 years old should use fluoride the size of a pea. Ensure you supervise your child brushing their teeth with fluoride to ensure they spit the paste after brushing.
Dentists can recommend fluoride treatment during one of the regular dental check-ups when they examine your child’s teeth and notice that the teeth are susceptible to decay.
Recommending fluoride treatment is essential as it can prevent the premature loss of teeth. This is because tooth decay can erode teeth leading to tooth loss.
There are several benefits of using fluoride. First, when used in low doses, the mineral joins into the tooth structure when teeth develop, strengthening the teeth’s enamel. This is essential as it reduces the teeth’s vulnerability to cavities and bacteria.
On top of that, fluoride treatment reverses the development of cavities by killing bacteria that cause tooth cavities.
Another benefit of fluoride to teeth is helping the body absorb minerals like phosphate and calcium, which help repair a tooth’s enamel which bacteria have eroded. What’s more, fluoride can help in the restoration of minerals found on the tooth’s surface.
All these benefits contribute to certain results in the long term. First, it reduces the amount of capital and time you will spend taking your child to the dentist. Research has shown that kids who have used fluoride seldom develop cavities later in life.
Another outcome of fluoride is that it can prolong the life of baby teeth. This is because the mineral fortifies the kid’s teeth, making them less prone to cavities and decay.
Fluoride treatment also delays the need for lots of dental work. Some of these dental procedures are quite expensive.
Too much of anything is dangerous, and the same applies to fluoride. If your kid uses excess fluoride, this can lead to dental fluorosis. This condition changes how the tooth’s enamel looks. As a result, you will notice white spots on your kid’s teeth. This dental condition usually affects children under eight who use excess fluoride.
Another risk of fluoride is pitting and staining your child’s teeth. This is why the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends parents use a very small amount of fluoride toothpaste once their child’s first tooth grows.
In addition, dentists recommend that children under six years old should be given fluoride varnish as this variety is safe when ingested compared to fluoride gels or foams, which can cause vomiting and nausea.
When there is acute toxicity of fluoride, it can cause excessive sweating, tiredness, diarrhea, and nausea. If you notice these symptoms after your child has ingested fluoride, it would be best if you head to Talent Dental, and our dentists will alleviate the symptoms and restore your child’s health.