What is fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral that is crucial to your overall health, specifically the health of your teeth. It’s found naturally in water and many foods. Fluoride helps strengthen your teeth and protect them from tooth decay. Throughout the day, acids and sugars from your food and drink and bacteria damage your tooth enamel and demineralize it. While most people get enough fluoride from their diets and using fluoride toothpaste, Smile Wright Dental may recommend fluoride treatments to remineralize enamel for some patients to further strengthen their teeth and prevent cavities.
What are fluoride treatments?
Fluoride treatments are especially important for our young patients, ensuring their teeth stay strong and healthy during development. We may recommend a fluoride treatment as part of your child’s regular dental hygiene exam, or if your child has any of the following:
- Pits or fissures on chewing surfaces
- Exposed or sensitive roots
- Poor oral hygiene habits at home
- Low exposure to naturally occurring fluoride
- Inadequate saliva production due to underlying health conditions
- History of tooth decay
Fluoride treatments are available in gel, varnish, and foam. One of our caring staff members will use a small brush to apply a thin layer of fluoride onto your child’s teeth. The fluoride can be sticky but sets quickly. For our youngest patients, fluoride treatments are flavored for a more enjoyable experience. The entire process is quick and painless! After their fluoride treatment, your child should avoid eating and drinking for about 30 minutes.
Is fluoride safe for children?
Over the years, the concern around fluoride toxicity has increased. We understand a parent’s worry about this, and at Smile Wright Dental we want to reassure you that the fluoride treatments we recommend and provide are completely safe. Many sources indicate that fluoride in water, along with the use of fluoride toothpaste and fluoride treatments, decreases the rate of tooth decay by over 50%. We take the safety of our patients seriously and consider multiple factors when recommending fluoride treatments. We ensure dosage is appropriate, and our in-office application follows strict guidelines. Dental fluorosis happens when a child, usually under the age of 8, gets too much fluoride when teeth are forming below the gums. While it appears as white dots on teeth, it is not a health concern, but mainly cosmetic. To prevent dental fluorosis, teach your child to spit, not swallow, their toothpaste, and to rinse well with clean water after brushing their teeth.
If you have questions about fluoride treatments for your child or would like to make an appointment for your child to receive treatment, contact our office today!