Dental Tips Blog

Oct
9

Do Your Children Need Fluoride Supplements?

Fluoride has given humans a major advantage over tooth decay. Because many of today’s kids get regular fluoride exposure from a young age, their teeth are more resistant to cavities than those of their parents.

Sometimes, however, kids don’t get enough of the fluoride their smiles need.

What Are Fluoride Supplements?

A fluoride supplement is only available by prescription and may come in a drop, tablet, or lozenge. Other topical forms can be found in over-the-counter rinses and professional topical applications.

Like other minerals or nutrients, fluoride is beneficial in safe levels and can be harmful if too much is ingested. That’s why fluoride should be used in line with a dentist’s instructions.

Who Should Have Fluoride Supplements?

A supplement delivers this mineral directly to developing teeth via the bloodstream. It’s important for kids to get enough fluoride while their teeth are growing. But once tooth development stops, the systemic (ingested) method is no longer as effective.

Kids aged 6 months to 16 years may qualify for a fluoride supplement if they haven’t gotten enough in their drinking water. Supplements are also indicated where a child is at particularly high risk for getting cavities for any other reason.

Is A Supplement Is Right For Your Child?

If your child’s primary source of drinking water contains less than 0.7 parts-per-million of fluoride, then they may need an additional source. You can contact your local health department for information on fluoride levels in your area.

Your dentist will let you know whether a supplement is right for your child based upon a complete history of his or her fluoride exposure.

Posted on behalf of:
Carolina Smiles
3244 Sunset Blvd
West Columbia, SC 29169
(803) 794-2273

Aug
3

How Fluoride Can Damage Kids’ Teeth

Is fluoride good for kids or not? There is a lot of information out there on behalf of both schools of thought. Some people believe that fluoride is a toxin while others advocate it passionately.

What do you know about how fluoride affects teeth?

Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral found all over the world. It’s an established fact that it strengthens enamel, but since it isn’t vital for life, it’s not considered a vitamin.

Cavities start when tooth enamel is worn down through a process called demineralization. Fluoride reinforces enamel to make it resistant to acids and bacteria.

Because fluoride is so good for building up tooth defenses, it’s good for kids to get plenty while their teeth are still developing.

But opponents of the mineral point to something called “dental fluorosis” to illustrate why the mineral is potentially dangerous.

What is Dental Fluorosis?

Dental fluorosis is when too much fluoride is ingested during tooth development, causing incomplete enamel formation. The affected teeth may sport just a few chalky spots of decalcification or, in extreme cases, be mottled brown and pitted.

While these affected teeth are plenty resistant to cavities, they lose their potentially luminous appearance.

Why it Matters When the Exposure Occurs

Depending on how much fluoride a person is exposed to and when, the degree of fluorosis can vary. Typically, from birth until age 6 or 7 kids are most vulnerable to the effects of fluoride. After that point, the teeth are fully developed and cannot be adversely affected by fluoride any longer.

Young children need to have their fluoride levels carefully monitored. Some of this mineral, both topical and ingestible, is necessary for healthy teeth. But swallowing too much over time can cause unwanted changes in the teeth.

Talk with your dentist about safe fluoride use for your family.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Dental Health
2285 Peachtree Rd #203
Atlanta, GA 30309
(678) 666-3642

Mar
10

New Advice on Baby Teeth

The American Dental Association, the leading advisory group on dental care, has reversed its longtime guidelines regarding the use of fluoride toothpaste on baby teeth.

The ADA now says that parents should use a smear of fluoride toothpaste twice daily to brush baby teeth and that such care should begin as soon as the teeth erupt at around six months of age. The ADA’s prior guidelines suggested that parents wait until a child is two years old before using fluoride toothpaste.

Officials with the dental organization said recent studies show that the benefits to the child in terms of long term decay prevention far outweigh any consequences, particularly if the amount of toothpaste is monitored carefully.

The ADA was careful to point out that the amount of toothpaste used on an infant should only be a smear, or just enough to cover the top of a soft bristle toothbrush. Children over two years should use a pea sized amount when brushing their teeth. This, the officials said, would reduce the risk of fluorosis, a condition where the teeth are browned or mottled by too much fluoride.

The ADA said fluoride use is particularly important if the child is at risk for tooth decay. Risk is determined in part by family history, diet or whether the child goes to bed at night with a bottle of juice or formula. When the liquid is routinely allowed to settle in the infant’s mouth, it can eventually lead to tooth decay.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is among the medical and dental organizations that still maintain that parents should wait until a child is aged two before allowing fluoride use.  Your pediatric dentist can help you decide whether the use of fluoride toothpaste is right for your child.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Mansouri, Marietta Family Dental Care, P.C.

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