Fluoride and Your Child’s Oral Health: What You Need to Know

Fluoride and your child's oral health

Cavities are one of the most common dental problems among toddlers and children. Genetics and certain lifestyle habits put certain children at a higher risk of developing cavities. Fluoride from drinking water and other sources can help your child’s oral health in multiple ways. Here are some common questions parents ask Sisko Dentistry  about the role fluoride plays in their child’s oral health.

Why Do Children Need Fluoride?

Bacteria in the mouth are fueled by consumed sugars which then produce harmful acid that wears out the outer layer of the tooth. Fluoride, a natural mineral, can slow or stop cavities from developing. Fluoride not only protects teeth from damage but also helps rebuild the enamel. 

United States communities have added fluoride to tap water to help fight cavities; community water fluoridation has been shown to reduce tooth decay by 25%. Keep in mind that your child still needs fluoride toothpaste even if there is fluoride in the water supply. Children who drink plenty of water and brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day tend to have the healthiest teeth.

When Should My Child Start Using Fluoride Toothpaste?

Babies without erupted teeth do not need to use toothpaste. For toddlers without erupted teeth using a damp and cold cloth towel to clean their gums is enough. You can start using toothpaste with fluoride when your children begin to get their baby teeth. However, it is important to only use an adequate amount based on their age. Otherwise, they could end up swallowing large amounts of fluoridated toothpaste which can lead to health concerns. If your baby or toddler does not know how to spit yet holding off on fluoride toothpaste may be a good idea to avoid complications.

Babies and young children need less fluoride than older kids and adults. For babies, use a tiny amount of toothpaste, such as the size of a grain of rice. When your children are at least three years old, you can start using pea-sized amounts of fluoridated toothpaste to brush their teeth. If you are unsure about the amount, your dentist can show you how much to safely use.

Is Fluoride Toothpaste Safe For Babies And Toddlers?

A major overload of fluoride could cause dental fluorosis or dangerous toxicity. However, you must know that fluoride is safe for children as long as you use the recommended amount. Supervising your children while they are brushing their teeth is the best way to ensure safe and effective brushing. Developing a good oral routine can be a challenge for some children but practicing every day ensures that your child’s teeth are taken care of. If you do not want your child to have fluoride toothpaste there are other alternatives that can protect their oral health. To determine what procedure would be most effective for your child contact our office.  

When Should Your Child See A Dentist? 

At Sisko Dentistry, we ensure that your child has a beautiful smile right from the beginning. We have 30 years of experience in cosmetic treatments, restorative or general dentistry, and/ or emergency dental care. 

All children can benefit from using the right amount of fluoride and going to the dentist. Dental cleanings and exams in addition to fluoride ensure the best oral health for your child. When fluoride from tap water or toothpaste is combined with dental sealants, the chances of cavities in children’s teeth decrease even more. 

If you are considering any of these services for anyone in your immediate family call 330-633-9510 to make an appointment.

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