Fluoride is very helpful in preventing tooth decay. Parents often ask me why fluoride is beneficial and where they can get it for their children.
Fluoride is an element that helps prevent tooth decay by remineralizing teeth. Remineralizing teeth is a fancy way of saying that it makes teeth stronger and helps stop or slow early stages of cavities. Fluoride also has some antimicrobial properties as well.
City water is fluoridated to a safe drinking level. Since the start of fluoridation of public water, there has been a drastic drop in dental decay. Simply by drinking tap water, you can lower your chances of getting cavities. Many bottle waters do not contain fluoride.
Most all toothpastes have fluoride. The concentration in toothpaste is about a thousand times stronger than city water. All children can brush with a fluoridated toothpaste, but it is important to make sure that your child is using a safe amount. If your child is brushing and flossing regularly, there is little benefit to adding a fluoride mouthrinse. There are also prescription flouride treatments that are sometimes given to high cavity risk patients. Herrin Pediatric Dentistry will discuss your child’s at home fluoride needs at your dental appointment.
Flouride treatments are also done at cleanings on average once or twice a year. These treatments give the teeth an even higher concentration of fluoride than what is found in toothpaste. If your child has a history of decay or has cavities starting to form, our office may recommend more frequent in office applications of fluoride.