Tooth decay is incredibly common in children. As dental providers and parents, we want to do everything we can to avoid the little ones from getting cavities. Fluoride is one of the key ingredients to minimize cavities and strengthen teeth. Understanding the structure of teeth can help you get a better grasp on how fluoride is beneficial. We at Smile Reef would like to take an opportunity to discuss the importance of fluoride.
Tooth Enamel Definition
Enamel covers the outer layer of each tooth and is the most visible part of the tooth. Enamel protects teeth from the constant impact of daily use as enamel is the teeth’s outer layer. The enamel is strong and serves as a barrier to keep the nerves from feeling any kind of pressure when the kids eat foods, especially crunchy apples and carrots. In a nutshell, the enamel is the exterior casing of the tooth. Unfortunately, enamel is not invincible; over time it can wear away or even break apart and sustain damage.
What Causes Weak Tooth Enamel?
Children that eat a lot of sugar and drink soda regularly along with poor oral hygiene habits can experience a loss in enamel. As the enamel wears, the tooth will start to decay from the bacteria that settle on teeth and secrete an acid that attacks the tooth itself. The acid produced from the bacteria eats the enamel. As the enamel is weakened the acid will then start to deteriorate the tooth at a faster rate. A naturally occurring mineral that strengthens the enamel is fluoride. With the increased strength of the enamel, the acid cannot penetrate through it so easily, preventing tooth decay. Fluoride treatments are ideally recommended on an annual basis with your dentist, but children who are genetically prone to tooth decay may need more frequent fluoride treatments. The long-term oral health and longevity of children’s teeth can be better improved with stronger teeth.
Fluoride Treatments Strengthen Tooth Enamel
Fluoride treatments are especially simple and does not cause any discomfort for your child. The dentist will generally apply the fluoride directly to their teeth and after a short time, the fluoride will begin to strengthen the enamel; from there the fluoride is thoroughly removed. The fluoride does not cause any kind of irritation and has distinct smells or tastes. More often than not, the kids do not notice they are even getting a treatment and fewer ever complain about the treatment. The fluoride treatment is one of the most simplistic and beneficial treatments your kids will experience. It is recommended by experts that kids should visit their pediatric dentist once a quarter for those with extreme cases where kids are experiencing significant dental decay. But the average is fluoride treatments once or twice year. The frequency is really dictated by the child’s individual health of their teeth.
Enamel Hardening Toothpaste
To help ensure your children are getting fluoride treatments to strengthen the enamel, experts encourage parents to have the kids brush their teeth a fluoride enriched toothpaste. Doing so will further strengthen their teeth and augment the treatments performed by the dentist.
If your child or children are due for their dental visit, schedule an appointment with Smile Reef today and during their routine exam we can discuss fluoride treatment and optimal ways you can incorporate it for your child’s oral hygiene routine.