Dental Tips Blog

Oct
21

Does Your Child Need Fluoride Supplements?

It’s extremely important for kids to get enough fluoride during childhood while their teeth are developing. Fluoride benefits the still-growing teeth when it is ingested in drinking water.

Kids need just enough fluoride to prevent decay. But too much of this mineral exposure can have an opposite effect by damaging the enamel.

So how do you know if your children are getting just the right balance of fluoride in their toothpaste and drinking water?

Safe and Effective Fluoride Levels

The American Dental Association recommends that drinking water contain a fluoride concentration of 0.7 parts per million. This is sufficient for the body to absorb what it needs over time without taking up a harmful amount.

Find out how much fluoride is in your family’s drinking water by contacting your community’s municipality. It’s a good idea to ask your child’s school, as well, if he or she drinks a lot of the water there or eats meals prepared with the school’s drinking water.

Children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years who get insufficient fluoride from their drinking water may need a supplement.

Where to Get Supplements

A fluoride supplement is only given with a dentist or pediatrician’s prescription. Not all children need them.

In the meantime, make sure your child brushes with a fluoride toothpaste every day. Toddlers and infants too young to spit out excess toothpaste should have you brush their teeth for them with just a smear of fluoride toothpaste. There’s no such thing as too much when it comes to this topical fluoride exposure!

Talk with your child’s dentist or doctor to find out more about your child’s cavity risk and how fluoride treatments can help.

Posted on behalf of:
Milton Dental Specialists
13075 Hwy 9, Suite 110
Milton, GA 30004
(770) 521-2100

Aug
22

Yes! Fluoride Is Safe for Kids

Fluoride is perhaps the most hotly debated dental topic. Parents on both sides of the issue have strong feelings.

The mineral use is backed by decades of research proving it dramatically reduces tooth decay. But other research indicates that excess exposure leads to weakened enamel, toxic poisoning, and possibly neurological problems such as ADHD.

What’s the final stand on fluoride? Is it really safe for your kids?

It’s the Amount that Matters

Like most other drugs, vitamins, minerals, and supplements, fluoride is beneficial, but dangerous in large amounts.

This is a serious matter when it comes to kids. Because children are small and still-developing human beings, they will be more sensitive than adults to high levels of supplements.

The key here is to monitor your children’s fluoride use and know the levels of fluoride in the water your kids drink. Some fluoride is essential, but unnecessary amounts can cause problems.

How Much Fluoride Is Safe?

From the day they get their first tooth, babies should have their teeth brushed with a rice grain-sized smear of toothpaste twice a day. Once your child is old enough to spit out excess toothpaste, they can have a pea-sized amount.

In these ADA-recommended portions, children can get the benefits of fluoride at an extremely low risk of ingesting any.

External fluoride use via toothpaste will safely strengthen teeth without ill-effects. Fluoride supplements and fluoridated water should be prescribed according to your child’s needs, so you’ll need to consult a dentist to find out more about that.

With the help of your local dental office, you can get the latest in fluoride research and help your kids safely benefit from fluoride!

Posted on behalf of:
Gilreath Dental Associates
200 White St NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 514-1224

Jan
29

Why Fluoride is So Important for Kids’ Teeth

A child’s mouth is the perfect place for cavities to flourish. Most little kids aren’t very cooperative with efforts to keep their teeth clean. If they brush their teeth themselves, children are likely to miss a lot of important areas.

Add to this the fact that kids love sweet things, plus the weaker nature of primary (baby) teeth, and you’ve got a tooth decay recipe on your hands.

Here’s how fluoride treatment can help:

Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral found in many foods including fish, vegetables, and tea. Fluoride “upgrades” molecules in the hard layers of you or your child’s teeth, reinforcing them and making them less susceptible to decay.

Of course, this doesn’t happen immediately and it’s not like the entire tooth is turned to fluoride. But constant minimal fluoride-exposure makes it very easy to avoid decay.

Big Worries Caused by Cavities

Cavities can absolutely devastate a child’s smile. Tooth decay hurts baby teeth just as much as it does adult ones. A severe cavity could lead to your child getting a tooth filled, crowned, or pulled to alleviate their pain.

A steady and safe supply of fluoride could help spare your child discomfort and save you money on preventable problems. By incorporating this mineral via toothpaste or a rinse per your dentist’s instructions, you can actively lower your kid’s cavity risk even if they aren’t the best about brushing!

Fluoride is a safety net that has changed the future of dentistry for the next generation. But this mineral is widely misunderstood and underestimated. For more information on the necessity of safe fluoride use, plan a visit with your local dentist.

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

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

Oct
19

Fluoride Treatments Reduce Tooth Decay

Recent generations have benefitted greatly from fluoride use as a means to decrease overall decay rates. Fluoride works to reduce dental decay by remineralizing any areas of the tooth that have become decalcified. While many people think of fluoride as being in the water supply or from the dental office, fluoride is also found naturally in some foods. The FDA has approved the use of fluoride for preventive care purposes.

Most over the counter toothpastes contain fluoride. Small children who are unable to rinse or expectorate should use a training toothpaste that is fluoride-free, to prevent excess consumption of the mineral.

Supplemental fluoride treatments may be necessary for people who are at an increased risk for decay. Examples of increased risks include:

  • Inadequate oral hygiene
  • Gum recession
  • Dry mouth (xerostomia)
  • Poor nutrition habits
  • Past history of rampant decay
  • Family history

In-office fluoride application is usually done with a gel or varnish. Varnish is much thicker and is brushed onto the teeth. The low viscosity increases the contact time and makes it more effective for decay reduction.  Most dentists prefer to only apply topical fluoride up to the age of 14 while permanent teeth are still erupting and forming. In some cases at-risk patients may continue to need fluoride applications.

Prescription strength fluoride may be needed for patients with persistent dental decay needs. Only a small pea-sized amount is needed and is applied, usually in the evening, after normal brushing and flossing. It is recommended to not eat or drink for at least 30 minutes after the application. Routine use can greatly decrease the risk of persistent tooth decay.

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