Fluoride Treatment

San Marcos, CA

At Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos, we are all about prevention to keep tooth decay and cavities at bay. Dr. Nadia Bala and Dr. Greg Allen encourage children to brush their teeth at least twice a day, floss daily, and limit sugary foods and drinks. Another important tool in our fight against cavities is offering fluoride treatments. 

What Are the Benefits of Fluoride Treatments?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in certain foods, plants, the soil, and even some types of rocks. Most communities in the US and worldwide have been offering fluoridated water for the past 75 years as a public health service to prevent tooth decay and cavities.

But why is fluoride so important? When your little one eats or drinks, cavity-causing bacteria feed on the sugars and starches, producing acids that erode or eat away at the protective tooth enamel layer. Here's where fluoride comes in. Fluoride strengthens the tooth enamel and disrupts acid production, lowering the risk of tooth decay. It also promotes remineralization, a process that helps repair early tooth decay. Routine fluoride treatment is one of the safest and most effective ways to lower the risk of tooth decay and cavities.

When Should Your Child First Get Fluoride Treatments?

The American Dental Association (ADA) recently updated its guidelines and now recommends professional fluoride treatments starting when the first tooth emerges, around six months of age. From that point on, fluoride applications during your child's twice-yearly dental visits can significantly reduce the risk of tooth decay. As the fluoride strengthens the baby teeth and their replacements that are developing behind the scenes, the adult teeth are less prone to cavities when they erupt, leaving a lasting positive impact on your child's oral health.

What Is the Fluoride Application Procedure?

Topical fluoride application is quick and painless. One of our experienced pediatric dentists or our dental hygienist will apply fluoride varnish to the visible surfaces of your child's teeth using a tiny brush. As soon as the varnish touches the saliva, it will harden, giving your little one's teeth a cavity-fighting boost. The entire treatment takes a few minutes to complete.

Is Fluoride Safe for Kids?

Fluoride is safe for kids when not given in excess. People have been drinking tap water that's been fluoridated for decades, with countless oral health benefits. Health organizations worldwide, including the American Dental Association (ADA), endorse its use to prevent cavities.

Just as with anything good, too much fluoride can be problematic. Ingesting large amounts of fluoride when a child's teeth are developing, usually before age eight, can cause dental fluorosis, which is characterized by white spots or flecks appearing on the teeth. Fluorosis typically occurs in rural areas where the water supply is naturally high in fluoride and where well water is the primary source of drinking water.

Fluoride Toxicity can also result from purposefully ingesting large volumes of fluoride toothpaste at one time. That is why it is important to supervise brushing time and to keep toothpaste out of reach of small children. We recommend using tiny amounts of toothpaste until your child masters spitting it. Dr. Nadia Bala and Dr. Greg Allen are happy to recommend the amount and type of toothpaste that’s right for your little one.

The good news is that most cases of fluorosis are mild, and getting too much fluoride is much less common than not getting enough. Fluorosis is more a cosmetic concern, with no adverse effects on your little one's health other than having abnormally strong teeth and bones. When it comes to modern fluoride treatments, the varnish we apply sticks to the tooth surfaces and cannot be swallowed, providing cavity-fighting benefits without the risk of fluoride ingestion.

Fluoride Treatment Near Me in San Marcos, California

Now that you know how fluoride helps strengthen your child's teeth, the next step is visiting Pediatric Dentistry of San Marcos to give your little one a cavity-fighting boost! Dr. Nadia Bala and Dr. Greg Allen are committed to providing exceptional preventive services to help our young patients maintain long-term healthy and beautiful smiles.

Looking for exceptional care from the best pediatric dentists in San Marcos? We invite you to call 760-798-2825 to schedule your child's appointment or complete our online appointment request form today!

We're Ready For Your Ducklings!

We are excited to care for little ones and be part of their journey to bright and healthy smiles. Follow the link to request an appointment that best fits your busy schedule. We can’t wait to meet you!