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.