The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) reported a drop of 68 percent in the number of missing or decaying teeth of 12-year-old children in the late 60s through early 90s following the introduction of fluoride and fluoride-containing products. Kidshealth.org recommends a grain-size dollop of toothpaste with fluoride for your baby and a pea-size dollop of toothpaste with fluoride for children over the age of 3. As a kids’ dentist in Frisco, Texas, we agree with these recommendations.
Benefits of Fluoride
There are several benefits of fluoride. It helps teeth grow stronger and increases resistance to tooth decay. Fluoride toothpaste, when applied topically, helps repair weakened enamel. Fluoride found in drinks and food also provides a topical application through saliva giving benefit to the enamel of the teeth. Additionally, fluoride can be found in mouthwash. However, it is recommended that children only use fluoride-containing mouthwash if they are over 6 years old. Speak to your pediatric dentist for any questions regarding the use of fluoride with your child.
Too Much Fluoride
As with most medications or supplements, it is possible to experience harmful effects if your child receives too much fluoride. Taking in too much fluoride before the age of 8 can result in a discoloration of your child’s permanent teeth. An overindulgence in fluoride can result from fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash being swallowed. There are other ways your children can be at risk of taking in too much fluoride. If you have fluoridated water and add a fluoride supplement, that could be too much. There are a few other sources as well. It is important to monitor your small child encouraging them to spit out the toothpaste and mouthwash and not to swallow them. If you are in a community where natural fluoride levels are high, try giving your child water from alternative sources to help decrease their risk of too much fluoride intake.
Your Questions Answered
Your kids’ dentist in Frisco, Texas is waiting to meet you and your child at Sheer Smiles Pediatric Dentistry. We accept most major insurance plans so call us today at (972) 987-0787 and schedule your child’s appointment.