Throughout the years there has been lots of talk about fluoride. People will talk about whether fluoride is good or bad. Sifting through the information so that you can form your own opinion can be exhausting! Smile Reef have put together some details about fluoride for you today so that you can know exactly what the debate is about.
What is Fluoride?
Before we dive in we thought a definition of fluoride would be good. Fluoride is the negative ion of the element fluorine. Fluorine is the chemical element of atomic number 9. Wikipedia states that “it is the lightest halogen and exists as a highly toxic pale yellow diatomic gas at standard conditions.” Fluorine is used in refrigerators, toothpaste and rocket fuels. Trace amounts of fluoride are found in air, soil, plants, rocks, fresh water, sea water and many goods. Fluoride is essential to keeping your bones and teeth hard and strong. About 99% of the body’s fluoride is stored in bones and teeth.
Effects of Fluoride in Water
Fluoride is naturally in almost all water supplies. Having the right amount of fluoride in your water is proven to protect your teeth. The federal health officials recommend that the best of amount of fluoride of water is 0.7 parts per million. Fluoride being added to water has been debated for years. Health care professionals are in support of water fluoridation to help prevent tooth decay. If you are not sure if your child is getting enough fluoride Smile Reef can help you determine whether their fluoride levels are sufficient. If your child needs fluoride supplements we can recommend some. Evidence has shown that water fluoridation is the most cost-effective way to prevent tooth decay and help build a healthy community. Most cities show that for every $1 spent for water fluoridation saves $38 in dental care. The state of Texas saved $24 per child in Medicaid expenditures because of the cavities that were prevented by water being fluoridated.
If you have high fluoride concentration you can develop a condition called fluorosis. Fluorosis causes faint, white specks on your teeth. Most cases are mild. Mild fluorosis does not affect the health or function of the teeth or cause pain. In an effort to reduce fluorosis the CDC proposed in 2015 that the water fluoridation level be 0.7 parts per million.
Case Against Water Fluoridation
The main issue for those that are opposed to water fluoridation is that they feel that it is taking away their right to choose what they are consuming. They also state that water fluoridation has not been proven to be the link in improved dental health. They believe that other factors that are not being taken into consideration that could also be affecting those numbers.
Here at Smile Reef we believe the benefits of fluoride will help your child with their oral health. If you have more questions about fluoride you can ask Dr. Jensen at your next visit. If you would like to opt out of fluoride treatment for your child the choice is always yours! Contact Smile Reef for all your pediatric dentistry needs.
As soon as teeth emerge, children should be having their teeth brushed. Your baby gets used to the daily routine by starting early. For babies, use a small soft-bristled brush or a soft washcloth to clean the teeth with just warm water. Discuss with your dentist when toothpaste should be introduced and training toothpaste until they are eventually using fluoride toothpaste. Today, we at Smile Reef would like to offer some tips and suggestions when it comes to brushing and flossing your children’s teeth.
Child Dental Care Tips
1) Select, a small, soft-bristled toothbrush to soak in warm water for a few moments prior to brushing to ensure the bristles are softened up more.
2) As soon as your baby’s first tooth appears, both the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend using an amount of fluoride toothpaste the size of a grain of rice.
3) When your child turns three years old, you can graduate the amount to a pea-sized.
4) Your child’s teeth should be brushed two times a day, once in the morning and just before bed.
5) Cavities first develop on the back molars, so concentrate the brushing in that area but spend two minutes brushing the teeth overall.
6) Every 3-4 months replace the toothbrush or sooner if it displays signs of wear. Do not share the toothbrush with others.
7) As soon as two teeth emerge that touch, start flossing your child’s teeth. Use your preference of floss sticks or picks instead of the string as it will likely be easier on both you and our child.
8) After your child’s sixth birthday, introduce fluoride rinse for cavity prevention help, you can ask your dentist which the optimal choice is. Special needs children have a harder time with mouthwash and spitting; you can ask your dentist about fluoride supplements.
9) Once the permanent start coming through, you can talk to your dentist about sealants that will help protect the tooth from decay.
How Old Should a Child be to Brush Their Own Teeth?
To properly brush and floss teeth most children lack the coordination on their own until they are around six or seven and those with special needs may have gain more coordination before they can take over the reins on their own. Until then lead by example and let them watch your oral care regiment.
Best Toothpaste for Kids
It is safe for children to use fluoride, as it is a natural mineral that strengthens and protects teeth against forming potential cavities. Using it early can safely protect the teeth as they mature. With so many toothpastes on the market designed to motivate kids to brush, there are many flavors to chose from. Let your kids pick their favorites. Just look for toothpastes that carry the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. This is an indication the it has met the ADA criteria for safety and efficiency. Read the label to see the recommended age. For children who are incapable of spitting, mouthwash is not recommended. By the time they are 6, most understand the spitting concept, but ensuring the older children are using mouthwash with fluoride will only help combat tooth decay and cavities with brushing and flossing.
Within six months of your child’s first birthday is when experts recommend getting your child on schedule to see the dentist. With daily oral hygiene practices and schedules dental visits, your child’s teeth can be better preserved. Call Smile Reef today to schedule your child’s dental visit.