Fluoride, Tooth Decay, and Your Child

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What is fluoride, and how does it help your child’s overall dental health?

Fluoride is incredibly vital and important to dental health as it reduces in prevention of cavities and strengthens the enamel by making it stronger to acids attacking the teeth. Children need this mineral as this important mineral will actually reverse early signs of tooth decay. Fluoride can be found in many different places, so by ensuring that your child is getting enough is actually very easy!

The easiest and most common ways to include fluoride for your children are through fluoridated toothpaste or water. Typically fluoridated water is your regular tap water, and is 100% safe for consumption for children. Both the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that drinking fluoridated water is safe and effective for children. A study completed earlier this year by The University of Calgary showed that there was a rise in children’s tooth decay after Calgary has stopped fluoridated drinking water in 2011 – sparking debate over fluoride and its health effects.

Toothpaste with fluoride is another simple and easy way to ensure your child is getting enough fluoride. Some great toothpastes with it are:

Your child should begin using fluoridated toothpaste as soon as the first tooth appears. Use a “smear-sized” amount until your child turns 3, and then parents should use a “pea-sized amount.” Children’s teeth should be brushed twice a day, in the morning and at bedtime, and should be supervised by parents to make sure they are brushing correctly. 

Other sources of fluoride:

  • Topical treatment at dentist
  • Many foods and drinks (make sure they get tons of calcium and Vitamin D!)

Our pediatric dentists are great at explaining the further benefits of this mineral and how it helps your child. Contact us if you want to speak with them!

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