Fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral, is found in varying amounts in water sources such as rivers, lakes, and oceans. It is also found to some extent in certain foods and beverages. Fluoride is essential for proper tooth development and protects teeth against cavities. Fluoride is also added in the toothpaste and mouthwash to help protect teeth from decay.
How Fluoride Helps protect against cavities?
The protective outermost layer of the tooth, called enamel, is often subject to acid attacks. These can come directly from acidic foods and beverages, such as sodas and citrus fruits. Bacteria present in the plaque on the teeth also constantly produce acids that can dissolve the tooth enamel.
When fluoride is present, it becomes part of the crystalline structure of tooth enamel, hardens it, and makes it more resistant to acid attack. It can even help repair small cavities.
Should children use fluoride toothpaste?
Fluoride toothpaste provides an extra benefit in protection against dental decay by making tooth enamel stronger. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends for children younger than 3 years, brushing teeth as soon as they begin to come into the mouth by using fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than the size of a grain of rice and for children age 3 – 6 years, no more than a pea-sized.
In-office fluoride treatment for maximum protection!
A very effective and safe way to deliver fluoride to your child’s teeth is professional fluoride treatment with topical fluoride applications painted right onto your child’s teeth.
How In-office fluoride treatment works?
When your child arrives at our office, they will have the teeth cleaning session. After cleaning, fluoride will be delivered to the child’s teeth as fluoride gel will be placed in custom-fitted trays that hold the gel against the teeth. Your child will have to wait while the gel sits on their teeth, giving the fluoride a chance to soak in. Afterward, the mouth is thoroughly rinsed, and the child is ready to leave.
It is recommended that avoid eating or drinking anything soon after receiving a fluoride treatment, to give tooth enamel the best chance to properly absorb the fluoride.
Why in-office fluoride treatment is necessary?
The acids attack leaches fluoride from the teeth, although many foods and water can replace it; but often, they don’t provide enough replacement to keep your child’s teeth healthy. To combat this loss of fluoride and ensure that your child’s teeth are developing properly, in-office fluoride treatments are necessary.
Getting the right amount of fluoride is best!
When a child consumes too much fluoride during teeth development, from any source, over long periods a condition develops called dental enamel fluorosis. It’s a change in the appearance of the tooth enamel, and it can be mild to severe. The condition is not harmful, but may eventually require cosmetic dental treatment. Although, caution is advised for over-exposure, but it would be a mistake to forget the benefits that this important mineral can bring to your child’s teeth and overall health.
Schedule your appointment!
Exposure to the proper amount of fluoride is important in fighting tooth decay and strengthening developing teeth. Please do not hesitate to call us today at 713-330-7700 or visit one of our 8 locations to ask us more about in-office fluoride treatments for your kids.