Fluoride And Your Child’s Oral Health

Fluoride And Your Child’s Oral Health

If you’re wondering about the positive impact that fluoride can have on your child’s oral health, check out this guide from All Kids Dental in Suffolk, VA.

What Are Common Dental Health Concerns For Children?

As parents, we want to be informed about common dental health issues so our children can show off happy, healthy smiles. Common dental concerns for children include:

  • Thumb-sucking or using a pacifier can be comforting for babies and toddlers, however, most children usually stop this habit between the ages of two and four. If your child does not stop before their adult teeth come in, it is best to consult a dentist as this can cause misalignment and other bite issues.

  • Gum disease is caused by plaque build-up and can be prevented through regular brushing and flossing.

  • Tooth erosion occurs when the acid in candy, soda, and sports drinks wears away at the enamel of teeth.

  • Teeth grinding is an involuntary habit that can be addressed with a nightguard to ensure permanent adult teeth do not become damaged.

  • Tooth decay, or cavities, is the most prevalent dental concern for children, occurring five times more often than asthma.

What Exactly Is The Mineral Fluoride, And How Does It Impact Oral Health?

Fluoride is frequently touted as a helpful component in dental hygiene products, but what is its source? Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is present in all living things on the planet. It is found in rocks and released into the environment, meaning it can be taken in by humans, plants, and animals. It is both odorless and tasteless, and appears in many different foods, such as apples, cereals, almonds, and tea. Furthermore, fluoride that is synthesized in laboratories is frequently included in oral health products to stop tooth decay due to its advantageous characteristics.

The potential of fluoride to improve oral health was first discovered in the early 1900s. Research showed that individuals living in areas where the drinking water contained higher concentrations of fluoride had stronger teeth and a lower rate of tooth decay compared to those in locations with less fluoride. Fluoride works by shielding the tooth enamel from plaque, sugars, and rebuilding healthy minerals in the teeth to counter existing decay. To benefit from fluoride, incorporate dental hygiene items with the mineral or drink tap water that has fluoride. To determine if your tap water has fluoride, contact your local water utility company or public health department, or look at the CDC’s website.

What Are Fluoride Treatments?

Fluoride treatments from All Kids Dental are excellent ways to keep your child safe from tooth decay. After a dental cleaning, fluoride treatment is applied to the tops and sides of each tooth. This simple process is both painless and quick, taking only a few minutes to complete. A small paintbrush is used to spread the fluoride varnish onto the teeth, and the special formula hardens as soon as it comes into contact with saliva, so there is no need to worry about young children licking it off. This treatment can be beneficial in preventing and halting tooth decay in children, and should be done two to four times a year.

A fluoride varnish is most effective when a child also keeps up their regular dental hygiene in brushing, flossing, eating healthy, and continued visits to the dentist.

Can My Child Benefit From A Fluoride Varnish?

A fluoride varnish is a useful preventative measure in children with cavity-free teeth and is also effective in helping children with high-sugar diets that are susceptible to tooth decay. While a fluoride treatment would be beneficial to infants, toddlers, and children as their teeth are still developing, fluoride treatments can be continued until at least the age of 16.

What Can I Expect After My Child’s Fluoride Treatment?

You can safely feed your child cold or warm food and drink immediately after your child’s fluoride treatment. Hot foods and liquids will have to wait at least 30 minutes to an hour. Though keeping up regular dental care is important, avoid brushing and flossing your child’s teeth for four to six hours after the fluoride varnish treatment.

All Kids Dental Is The Best Choice For Your Child’s Smile

If you are searching for the best dental care for your children in Suffolk and the surrounding Virginia neighborhoods, look no further than All Kids Dental. All Kids Dental has the expertise to live up to its name and make all kids feel comfortable and show off healthy smiles. From infant exams, to tooth-colored fillings and sedation dentistry, to creating an individualized dental plan for children with special needs, All Kids Dental can do it all. For pediatric dental expertise, call and schedule a visit with Dr. Joe and Dr. Brett today!