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Is It Too Early to Start My Kid on Fluoride?

September 13, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — shinysmiles @ 10:59 pm
Cartoon tooth is strong from fluoride

Fluoride is a mineral also known as “nature’s cavity fighter,” and despite the claims of some concerned citizens, it is incredibly effective at preventing cavities. Studies in Canada found that towns without fluoridated water had higher rates of tooth decay than those who continued putting it in their water supply. Millions of children around the world have been spared the pain of dental infections due to fluoride in toothpaste and tap water alongside regular dental checkups. Here’s what you should know about the effects fluoride has on children.

Why Is Fluoride So Important?

Cavities are the most widespread disease in children and adults across the world, and fluoride is one of the safest and most effective ways to prevent tooth decay. Tooth decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth that feed on the sugar left behind by the food we eat. Unless it is routinely cleaned from the mouth, the acid they excrete will cause cavities by wearing its way through the hard enamel layer of the teeth. Fluoride replaces the minerals in your enamel that have been lost due to erosion and makes your teeth more resistant to acid in the process.

Fluoride doesn’t only prevent cavities. It can also help reverse the early stages of decay. Fluoridation of the water supply is such an easy and efficient way to preserve people’s smiles that it was declared a leading public health achievement of the twentieth century.

Should I Be Concerned About My Child Drinking Fluoridated Water?

Fluoride is a natural mineral that can be found in some amount in all natural water sources. The EPA maintains strict standards as to how much fluoride is present in the water supply, making sure that the level is just the right amount your teeth need.

This makes fluoridated water one of the best drinks for kids. Unlike juices, soda, or sports drinks, it contains no sugar or acid that could contribute to tooth decay. You should check bottled water to make sure it contains fluoride and be aware that some home water treatment systems like distillation and reverse osmosis remove most of the fluoride from water.

Can My Child Get Too Much Fluoride?

You can always have too much of a good thing. A child under the age of eight can develop dental fluorosis due to too much fluoride exposure while the adult teeth are still forming beneath the gums. It results in thin white lines forming in the teeth, and it is mostly a cosmetic concern that usually can only be noticed by a dentist. The vast majority of people with dental fluorosis have mild cases. The best way to prevent this condition is to teach your child to spit their toothpaste and mouthwash into the sink rather than swallow it.

Fluoride is one of the best and easiest things you can provide for your child’s teeth. Growing up with fluoridated water and regular dental exams will help them enjoy a lifetime with a healthy and beautiful smile.

About the Author

Dr. Lily earned her dental doctorate from the Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, CA before completing her pediatric certification at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. She proudly serves as a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the Southwestern Society of Pediatric Dentistry, and the Texas Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Her office in Garland, TX provides pediatric general, restorative, and emergency dentistry in addition to fluoride treatments. For more information on the benefits fluoride can provide for children, contact the office online or dial (469) 925-0861.

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