Fluoride treatments are an essential component of pediatric dental treatment. Fluoride helps to harden enamel and strengthen teeth, reducing cavities and improving lifelong dental health. Children should receive fluoride treatments every three to six months, depending on the state of their dental health.
Why Fluoride is Important
Fluoride is an essential mineral that occurs naturally in our environment. It is also an active ingredient in many kinds of toothpaste and oral rinses. Many municipalities across the country add fluoride to their public water supplies to boost dental health for residents of all ages.
Fluoride strengthens the tooth's hard outermost surface, called enamel. It remineralizes the enamel, which can help repair emerging dental decay.
Without fluoride treatments, children are prone to tooth decay. Early tooth decay can lead to lingering problems with dental health well into adulthood.
Decay can spread from the affected baby teeth to the developing permanent teeth. If baby teeth need an extraction or fall out prematurely due to neglect, this can cause adult teeth to erupt in the wrong place. Misaligned adult teeth can lead to more decay as well as orthodontic problems.
When Should Fluoride Treatment Begin?
Babies should have their first dental appointment when their teeth erupt, in most cases before their first birthday. Fluoride treatment can begin at the very first appointment. In addition, parents should use a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste on their babies' emerging teeth.
Fluoride Treatment Options
Dentists use different types of fluoride for pediatric patients. They can paint a specialized fluoride varnish on a child's teeth. The advantage of the varnish is that it dries on the teeth and is less likely to be swallowed. The product is also available as a foam or gel for older children.
Fluoride toothpaste should be vital to your child's home oral care routine. Older children, ages eight and up, can also use fluoride mouth rinses.
Long-Term Benefits of Fluoride
Fluoride treatment has many benefits in the long term:
- Prevents Cavities
- Reverses Early Stage Cavities
- Remineralizes Teeth
- Assists in Lifelong Dental Health
Possible Side Effects of Fluoride
While fluoride has many crucial benefits for your child's health, parents must take care to deliver the appropriate amount. Too much fluoride given to a child can lead to dental fluorosis, which causes small white spots on the teeth. Your dentist can tell you more about how to prevent fluorosis while protecting your child's teeth.
Ensure Your Child is Protected
The earlier you start regular dental visits and fluoride treatments, the more positive impact they will have on your child's oral health. Your dentist will have further information about what type of fluoride is best for your child.
Contact A&R Advanced Dental Group at one of our convenient New York offices today to make an appointment for your child.