Is My Child Getting Enough Fluoride?
Fluoride is an essential, cavity-fighting element that everybody needs. There are some who naturally have low-cariogenic plaque composition, and they may not need additional fluoride to protect their teeth, though that is not the case for most people. Fluoride strengthens the enamel of the teeth, blocking cavity-inducing bacteria that grow in the mouth as a person goes throughout their day. Are you giving your child enough fluoride? How would you know? Check it out!
Your child’s pediatric dentist is really the only person who could say whether or not your child is getting enough fluoride. Water across the United States is fluoridated, though it’s not always enough to meet the suggested required amount. Children who drink bottled water that doesn’t contain fluoride at all might benefit from a fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash.
Your dentist can take the water your child primarily drinks and test the fluoride level of it. If it shows there’s not enough fluoride, the dentist might prescribe a supplement. Beginning at just six months of age, you can brush your child’s teeth with just a tiny amount of child-approved fluoride toothpaste.
If a child ingests too much fluoride, the result can be enamel fluorosis. This disorder is caused during enamel formation, which happens during young childhood as the teeth develop. While you want to ensure your child is receiving enough fluoride, you also want to ensure he or she is not receiving too much. Enamel fluorosis presents itself as discoloration of the teeth, as well as other types of physical damage. This is why it’s essential you have your dentist perform an evaluation before you determine for yourself that your child needs more fluoride.
Tips for Children and Fluoride
While your child’s fluoride needs should always be discussed with a pediatric dentist, it’s nice to have some tips on hand. The following are some things to consider about your children and fluoride.
- Only use a fluoride-containing toothpaste that is approved by the ADA.
- Supervise your children to ensure they brush every tooth and spit out the excess toothpaste.
- Babies will swallow the toothpaste, so only use a small smear.
- Once a toddler hits age three, you can increase the amount of fluoride toothpaste to pea-sized.
Contacting Your Pediatric Dentist
Making sure your child is getting enough fluoride is important to his or her overall oral health. If you have a concern about the amount of fluoride your child is ingesting, contact an Apex, NC dentist today for an evaluation.
Thanks to Alliance Dentistry for their insight into dentistry and getting enough fluoride for your child.