Fluoride and Children: What You Need to Know (edited)

Child girl receiving fluoride treatment form dentist, effectiveness of Fluoride, and children health
Child girl receiving fluoride treatment form dentist, effectiveness of Fluoride, and children health

You may need clarification about fluoride and children, as well as when to begin introducing it to them. You may also have additional questions about its effects and how much is too much for fluoride and children use. In this article, we take an in-depth look at fluoride and its effectiveness on a child’s health. Read on.

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral widely found in water, rocks, plants, and soil. It is added to the water in most countries, including the United States, because of its established role in the mineralization of teeth and bones, a process essential for keeping them strong. Fluoride can also be found in various kinds of toothpaste, vitamin supplements, and mouth rinses.

What does fluoride do?

Fluoride is added to water supplies and toothpaste for five main reasons:

  • It prevents dental caries, also known as cavities
  • It rebuilds and strengthens the tooth enamel
  • Reverses early tooth decay
  • Inhibits the growth of harmful oral bacteria
  • Reduces the chances of mineral loss from the tooth enamel

Fluoride and Children: How do we get fluoride?

We can get fluoride in water supplies, foods, toothpaste, and supplements. Dental professionals also recommend certain medications that contain fluoride. If you don’t have fluoride in your water supply, your doctor may prescribe fluoride tablets or drops for a child, or recommend that you buy fluoridated water.

Fluoride and Children: How much is too much?

As much as fluoride is considered safe to use, getting too much can lead to dental fluorosis. If you notice some white spots on the surface of a child’s teeth or a few color changes in the teeth, it could likely be that they have been swallowing too much fluoride.

To avoid this, make sure to use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste for children ages three to six, supervise a child during brushing sessions, keep toothpaste out of their reach, call your local water department to find out the fluoride level in your drinking water, and lastly, talk to a child’s dentist about the right amount of fluoride to give them.

Bottom line

If you have wondered whether fluoridated water or supplements are safe for children, the answer is yes. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), fluoride is safe and works to prevent tooth decay. The AAP also recommends that children between the ages of six months and sixteen years receive some form of fluoride every day.

However, it is always advisable to consult a dental professional on the amount of fluoride a child should get. This is to ensure they grow with healthy teeth, which is everyone’s wish and desire.

At Distinctive Dental Care, we offer special treatment for you and all children with our modern technology and personalized oral care. We also focus on learning, educating, and helping patients understand what is happening in their mouths. Contact us today and book an appointment with us.