As parents, it’s natural for us to worry about, well, everything when it comes to our children. And of course, with oral hygiene and care, there’s no exception. At our family dental clinic, we get a lot of questions from parents about dental health terms because they want to help their kids practice good oral hygiene habits. Parents know fluoride is important, but they don’t understand much about it. So here’s what you need to know about fluoride.
What is the Purpose of Fluoride?
Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps prevent tooth decay. The purpose of fluoride is to help strengthen teeth, especially in areas that may be prone to cavities or other conditions. Most municipalities add fluoride to drinking water to ensure better dental health for the population. It is also included in many kinds of toothpaste and oral care products. It is used as part of regular dental exams and cleanings since it helps to deter dental decay.
Is it Necessary for my Child?
Fluoride could very well be a necessary supplement for your child. Some children could require and benefit from it as early as six months old. But your dentist will consider a variety of factors, such as the status of tooth decay, oral hygiene, and age before recommending it. Your dentist may even recommend fluoride tablet supplements if your local water supply is not fluoridated.
Is it Safe?
Fluoride has been proven to be safe. Only small amounts of it are used for dental care, which is highly effective for improving the strength of your child’s teeth. It is important to note that utilizing toothpaste with fluoride is recommended, but it should be carefully monitored in young children. Sometimes excess amounts can result in permanent spots on teeth.
Should my Child Use Fluoride Toothpaste?
Once your child learns how to brush their teeth and spit out toothpaste, you can begin to use toothpaste with fluoride. Prior to that, generally under the age of 3, it is recommended that you only use water or non-fluoride toothpaste for your child. Swallowing toothpaste is something to teach your children to avoid, as larger amounts of ingested fluoride can cause potential harm.
Before you bring your child to the dentist, understand how and why fluoride is recommended. It is a supplement that is proven to be safe and highly effective for improving teeth and preventing decay in both you and your child’s teeth. So if you feel unsure about this, talk to your dentist. They can explain and direct you on how to safely implement it into your child’s oral care regime.