Scheduling regular dental visits is essential, not only to catch potential issues in the earliest stages but also to implement preventive strategies for minimizing problems in the future. When you bring your child to our office for a checkup and exam, we can provide recommendations to keep their teeth as healthy as possible. For example, it’s common for parents to choose a fluoride treatment for kids as a way to strengthen the teeth and reduce the risk of tooth decay later on.
What is Fluoride for Kids?
Fluoride exists naturally in many different places, including the earth’s crust, water, and foods. Even though we get fluoride through food and water, many people of all ages need additional fluoride treatments to protect their teeth.
Kids and adults can also receive fluoride treatments in a dental office. During this treatment, a high concentration of fluoride is applied to the patient’s teeth. This fluoride treatment for children’s teeth contains high doses to strengthen the teeth, improve dental health, and reduce the risk of cavities.
In-office fluoride treatments for kids are available in the form of a foam, gel, varnish, or solution. Depending on the child’s age and preferences, we can offer different recommendations for the optimal treatment.
Why is Fluoride Treatment Important for Children?
Why is fluoride treatment important? There are many benefits that come from fluoride treatments:
- Strengthen the Tooth Enamel: Fluoride has a positive impact on the strength of the teeth by improving tooth enamel. Fluoride actually supports the body in using minerals more effectively, including phosphate and calcium. Then, these minerals can be used to repair tooth enamel that has weakened.
- Developing Teeth: Fluoride is especially important in the earlier years of life because of the way it joins into the structure of the developing teeth. The ideal timing of fluoride treatments helps the child grow strong teeth, which reduces the risk of cavities for life.
- Reversing Minor Decay: If a small amount of tooth decay is present, it’s possible for fluoride to help with reversing the cavity. Or, fluoride can slow the progress of the cavity, allowing for early intervention before the issue requires more intensive treatments.
- Avoid Major Dental Work: Preventive care and early interventions, including fluoride treatments for children, can help to reduce the need for expensive dental treatments in the future. Fluoride can be viewed as an investment when you consider how much money can be saved by reducing the need for fillings, crowns, and other restorative dental services.
- Protect the Baby Teeth: Not only is fluoride necessary for permanent teeth, but a fluoride treatment for kids can have a positive effect on protecting the baby teeth. Maintaining healthy baby teeth increases the likelihood that the child will also have healthy permanent teeth.
- Preventing Tooth Extraction: When teeth are affected by serious decay, these cavities can eventually lead to the need for tooth extraction and dental restoration. Because fluoride slows and prevents the development of tooth decay, a fluoride treatment for kids can actually decrease the need for tooth extraction later in life.
Do Kids Really Need Fluoride?
Yes, a fluoride treatment for kids is important because it acts as a preventive method for minimizing the risk of tooth decay in the future. Each person only has one set of permanent teeth. If damage occurs to these teeth, then tooth restorations are the only possibility to restore the function and smile. A better solution is to avoid serious dental issues through preventive treatments, such as fluoride treatments for children.
When a child receives optimal dental care in the early years of life, it increases the likelihood that they will grow up with healthy teeth later in life. Parents can be proactive about preventive dental care, including fluoride treatments for kids, to increase the likelihood that their child will have a healthy, beautiful smile that lasts a lifetime.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s estimated that adding a small amount of fluoride in tap water has reduced tooth decay by an estimated 25%.
Does Fluoride Prevent Tooth Decay?
There’s no question that fluoride is one of the most effective preventive steps for avoiding tooth decay. Does fluoride treatment help kids tooth decay? Yes!
In order to avoid tooth decay, the body needs the necessary minerals to maintain strong enamel. Fluoride is the foundation that keeps the enamel strong, which reduces the likelihood of bacteria eating through the enamel and damaging the teeth.
In fact, researchers in the 1930s discovered that when children grow up using fluoride, the prevalence of cavities decreases. Ongoing research over the years has continued to support this finding, showing time and time again that fluoride is an effective way to reduce the risk of tooth decay.
Are Fluoride Treatments Safe for Kids?
While there are over-the-counter fluoride products, such as toothpaste with fluoride, there is a risk of using too much fluoride. So, caution needs to be used at all times. The best solution is to consult with your pediatric dentist about the ideal fluoride applications to protect your child’s smile.
Fluoride in drinking water is at a low enough concentration that it doesn’t pose a risk. But if a child receives fluoride in toxic high doses (based on their body weight), then it can be dangerous. Parents should always monitor a child’s use of fluoride products, including mouthwash and toothpaste.
Professional Fluoride Treatment for Kids
Many parents choose to have a fluoride treatment for children done professionally in the dental office. This treatment is easy to include as part of the routine exam and cleaning, and ensures that your child is receiving an adequate amount of fluoride to protect the enamel and prevent issues in the future.
Children only need small amounts of fluoride, and a professional treatment ensures they are receiving the optimal amount. The recommendations vary depending on the child’s age, dental conditions, and unique considerations. An experienced dentist can offer a customized services plan that includes a fluoride treatment for kids to ensure the child can enjoy a healthy smile for life.
Preventive Dentistry for the Whole Family
In addition to fluoride treatment for kids, our dental team also offers a variety of other preventive dental services that can be helpful for people of all ages. Our goal is to protect your smile so you can avoid major dental restorations in the future, and fluoride can be part of this strategy.
Are you ready to learn more about our preventive dentistry services, including fluoride treatment for kids and other available services? Then, reach out to our team at myDental to schedule an appointment at one of our nearby locations.