Taking care of a child’s teeth is crucial to his or her longterm oral health. Keeping teeth healthy and strong through early childhood helps to ensure good development of permanent teeth. While good oral hygiene is essential in this process, there is one thing that can actually strengthen teeth: using fluoride.
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in almost all water on Earth, as well as in soil and rocks. Its main benefit to us is the way it works to strengthen tooth enamel against decay. Stronger teeth mean less cavities. And it has been shown that populations that have steady access to fluoride have significantly less cavities than those that don’t.
Although fluoride occurs naturally, it usually isn’t in high enough concentrations to be beneficial. We therefore need to get our fluoride from other sources, like fluoride toothpastes or other supplements. But what kind of fluoride use is appropriate for kids?
The concern many parents have is overexposing their kids to fluoride. But this is really quite difficult. Any fluoride available to consumers is carefully controlled, and consuming enough fluoride to develop fluorosis is almost impossible with commercial products. The exception to this is if kids swallow a lot of toothpaste, so supervise their brushing until they are old enough. The most common source of overexposure is unfiltered water from wells.
If you have any questions about fluoride use or about any of the preventive treatments we offer at Weeder Pediatric Dentistry, please call our dental office in La Vista, NE, today.