Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in many foods and water. Every day, minerals are added to as well as lost from a tooth’s enamel layer through two processes; demineralization and remineralization. Minerals are lost (demineralization) from a tooth enamel layer when acids (formed from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth) attack the enamel. Minerals like fluoride, calcium, and phosphate are redeposited (remineralization) to the enamel layer from the foods and waters consumed. When there is too much demineralization without enough remineralization to repair the enamel, it will lead to tooth decay. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth.
Do Kids Need Fluoride in Their Toothpaste?
Fluoride is important for all children. Bacteria in the mouth combine with sugar and produce acid that can harm tooth enamel and damage teeth. Fluoride protects teeth from acid damage and helps to reverse the early signs of tooth decay. Children should also be drinking plenty of water and brushing their teeth with toothpaste that has fluoride in it. The American Pediatric Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), along with the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all agree that water fluoridation is safe and effective in preventing tooth decay.
Is Fluoride for Babies Good or Bad?
The ADA says it is safe to mix formula with fluoridated water. The only risk here is mild fluorosis. You can talk to your pediatrician or dentist. Dental fluorosis usually appears as very faint white streaks on the teeth. Often it is only noticeable by a dental expert during an exam. Mild fluorosis is not painful and does not affect the function or health of the teeth. Once your child has all their adult teeth (usually around age 8), the risk of developing fluorosis is over. If you don’t want to use fluoridated water with formula you can breastfeed your baby, use bottled water that has no fluoride with formula or use ready-to-feed formula that does not need water to be added.
Fluoride Drops, Supplements & Treatment for Kids
There are a lot of sources of fluoride. The most common ways are fluoridated water and toothpaste. It is also found in many foods and beverages. You should make sure your child eats a balanced diet with plenty of calcium and vitamin D to ensure healthy teeth. Your dentist or pediatrician may recommend a topical fluoride treatment during dental visits at various stages of your child’s development. If your water is not fluoridated, ask your pediatrician or dentist if your child is at high risk for dental caries (also known as tooth decay or a cavity). Dr. Jensen may recommend fluoridated water or give you a prescription for fluoride drops or tablets for your child. The AAP and the ADA recommend using a “smear” of toothpaste on children when they get their first tooth and until they reach the age of 3. After the age of 3, a pea-sized amount can be used.
Expert Pediatric Dentistry & Care in Las Vegas Nevada
Make sure your child is visiting the dentist on a regular basis. Contact Smile Reef today to make an appointment to discuss your child’s fluoride needs.
When it comes to your little ones, there isn’t anything you wouldn’t do to make them happy. But unfortunately, there are still some things that are in their best interest that you have to force on them. Not all kids enjoy school, yet you want them to be educated, so you make them go. When your child is in need of shots or to see the doctor, though they are fearful of needles, you encourage them through the experience to contribute to better health. The same example can be said of the dentist. Children are generally standoffish with strangers intruding in close proximity. Add a dentist who is intrusive in their mouth; most can understand the fear associated.
Smile Reef Share Some Tips to Help Your Child Work through Their Fear of Going to the Dentist
1. Don’t Delay Dental Visits. A common mistake a lot of parents do is waiting for their children to be old enough to understand they are going to a dentist. Starting children young is actually more beneficial. It is recommended children start at age one or when they get their first tooth. Starting them young reinforces the routine and more often than not, the fear of a dentist manifests.
2. Don’t Talk About Dental Procedures. If your child is of age to speak, many will have questions. Keep it short and sweet. Don’t relate details, especially about cavity procedures and such. Doing so only gets their imagination and curiosity spinning, which will buildup unnecessary anxiety. Keep it simple and sweet with all the little one’s questions.
3. Positive Dental Outlook. We have found it is best to avoid using words like “shot”, “pain”, and “hurt” kind of words. No one is eager to be involved in anything that contributes pain, especially children. Let your little inquisitors know the dentist is looking for tiny sugar beasts, or the dentist is merely going to count their teeth. It helps put their mind at ease.
4. Mock Dentist Role Play. Consider a play time where you are the dentist and the child is your patient. Have toy instruments common for a dentist and go through the basic motions. Make sure it is a fun and exciting time filled with laughter. After 2 or 3 times, switch roles and let them be the dentist and you the patient.
5. Special Needs Dentist. Young children or those with special needs may fuss, protest, and cry. Be prepared for it, and be patient. You don’t have to be embarrassed your child is having a meltdown. Most dentists and office staff has been there and done that. Be patient with your child, calm reassurance is what they need. Often when parents lose patience and they display frustration and anger, the anxiety and fear in their children will, only build. Be relaxed and take your time getting them comfortable.
6. Avoid Bribing at the Dentist. Before the visit even happens, you may be tempted to offer them a reward if they behave at the dentist. This immediately makes a child suspicious of what is going to happen at a place they may cry or be unhappy at. Instead, make the dentist a special treat where the dentist is excited to meet them and see their big smiles or something along those lines.
Pediatric Dentistry in Las Vegas, Nevada
It is always important to instill the importance of oral hygiene in your kids. Remind them going to the dentist regularly helps keep their teeth healthy. For your child’s next appointment, contact Smile Reef today. We cater to kids, including those with special needs. We are patient and help your child get comfortable and relaxed.