Did you know that tooth decay is the most common yet preventable chronic childhood disease? Left untreated, cavities can lead to pain, infection, and damage to your child’s permanent teeth. This can significantly impact your child’s health and quality of life. At Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos, we are all about prevention to maintain healthy, cavity-free teeth for a lifetime. One of the ways we safeguard young smiles is by offering preventive fluoride treatments.
What Is Fluoride and What Are Its Benefits?
Fluoride, often touted as nature’s cavity fighter, is a mineral that’s naturally found in foods, plants, the soil, and some types of rocks. As a public health measure that has been in place for over 75 years in the US, most communities in the US and worldwide now offer fluoridated drinking water.
Numerous studies and years of research have established the benefits of fluoride in the never-ending battle against cavities. The powerful mineral strengthens your child’s tooth enamel and disrupts the acid production by bacteria, which lowers the risk of tooth decay. Fluoride can even reverse the early signs of decay by building up and repairing the tooth enamel in a process known as remineralization. Regular fluoride application is recognized as one of the safest and most effective ways to lower the risk of tooth decay and cavities in children.
Does Your Child Require Fluoride Treatments?
The American Dental Association (ADA) recently updated fluoride recommendations for children, indicating that treatments should start when the first baby tooth emerges, usually around six months. From that point, regular fluoride applications every six months can significantly reduce the risk of tooth decay during the early childhood years. As children’s teeth are still developing, fluoride treatment can have a lasting positive impact on their dental health, setting them up for a lifetime of strong and healthy smiles.
What Is the Fluoride Application Procedure?
Fluoride treatment is quick, safe, and painless. One of our pediatric dentists or our dental hygienist will use a small brush to apply a small amount of fluoride varnish or gel on the visible surfaces of every tooth. The entire procedure takes a few short minutes to complete, leaving your little one’s teeth with a cavity-fighting boost.
What Is Dental Fluorosis?
Dental fluorosis is a side effect of way too much fluoride ingestion while your child’s teeth are still developing. It can occur before age eight and is characterized by generalized white spots or flecks on all your child’s teeth. Fluorosis occurs mainly in rural areas where the water supply is naturally high in minerals, including fluoride, and where most of the population drinks well water. Swallowing large amounts of toothpaste daily from a young age can also lead to fluorosis.
Fluorosis is primarily a cosmetic concern with no adverse health effects other than abnormally strong teeth and bones. Swallowing large amounts of toothpaste at once can also cause fluoride toxicity. As with everything in life, too much of anything good can become a problem. In the dental setting, our modern, professionally applied fluoride varnishes or gels stick to the teeth and cannot be ingested. Professionally applied fluoride provides your child’s teeth with all the anti-cavity benefits and none of the negatives associated with the old days of fluoride ingestion.
To lower the risk of fluorosis at home, it’s important to supervise teeth brushing time. Use tiny amounts of toothpaste until you’re confident your child can spit it out. Our exceptional kids’ dentists at Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos are happy to evaluate your child’s toothpaste use to ensure they aren’t using too much.
Fluoride Treatment Near Me in San Marcos, CA
Visit Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos to learn more about keeping your child’s smile healthy and cavity-free. Our accomplished pediatric dentists and kid-friendly team are committed to providing quality preventive services to help our young patients enjoy healthy smiles for life. Call 760-798-2825 to schedule your little one’s appointment or complete the online appointment request form today!