Dental Tips Blog

May
15

Why Did the Pediatric Dentist Prescribe Fluoride for My Child?

There’s fluoride in toothpaste, fluoride in mouthwash, and fluoride in tap water…so why did the pediatric dentist just advise for your child to start using a prescription strength fluoride before bed each night?

Here are a few reasons why it might be the case:

There’s a cavity starting to form. If caught early enough, enamel demineralization can be reversed before it completely evolves into an active cavity (hole) in the tooth. Adding extra minerals back into the tooth can help the weak spot to remineralize. 

Your child recently got braces. It’s hard to clean around orthodontic appliances, so adding fluoride can help to prevent those dreaded “white circles” that pop up when plaque hangs out around fixed brackets on the teeth. 

Fluoride levels in the water aren’t regulated. If you’re using well water or live in a certain area where fluoride isn’t controlled in the water supply, it’s important for your child to get the recommended amount while his or her teeth are still growing. 

They’ve had several cavities lately. Maybe all of your child’s cavities have been filled and there aren’t any more fillings left on the treatment plan. But the fact is that cavity-causing bacteria are still hiding somewhere in their mouth, and since your child is prone to getting more cavities than normal, upping the fluoride use each day can help prevent new tooth decay from forming.

Prescription fluoride for daily use is different than the single fluoride treatment that’s applied to your child’s teeth after they’ve had a cleaning. Talk to your pediatric dentist to learn more about the types of fluoride and what they’re used for.

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

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

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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