If you research fluoride, and specifically the use of fluoride in kids, you’ll probably stumble across some information suggesting fluoride isn’t safe for kids. At our Long Island pediatric dental office, we’d like to explain why fluoride actually is a safe and important part of your child’s dental health.
What is Fluoride and What Does it Do?
All of us at Ehrenman & Khan Pediatric Dentistry feel that before we can explain why fluoride is important, we need to explain what it is. Fluoride is a mineral found naturally in many foods and in our drinking water. Fluoride actually helps prevent tooth decay by making it more difficult for acids in the mouth to eat away at teeth. Most importantly, fluoride can reverse early tooth decay and help prevent cavities. In fact, toothpastes that have fluoride reduce cavities in kids by 30% and water sources that incorporate fluoridation lower cavity rates by up to 40%!
When is Fluoride Most Important?
When should you start exposing your kids to fluoride? Our Long Island pediatric dental office recommends that infants and children be exposed to fluoride from 6 months of age until about 16 years. However, simply because a child has reached 16 doesn’t mean they are no longer benefitted by fluoride. The truth is, adults should also receive some sort of fluoride treatment occasionally to keep fighting tooth decay
Does “The More, The Better” Rule Apply to Fluoride?
At our pediatric dental office in Long Island, we encourage the use of fluoride to build strong and healthy smiles. But keep in mind, fluoride should be used only as directed. It is very important that a child’s use of fluoride, or products containing fluoride, be closely monitored by an adult.
Here are a few tips to help you monitor the use of fluoride products in your kids:
- Keep fluoride supplements out of the reach of children
- Avoid flavored toothpastes to discourage swallowing of the paste
- Use only a pea-size amount of toothpaste with fluoride in it
If your child is due for a dental check, give our Long Island pediatric dental office a call today! We’ll make sure your kid’s smile is growing healthy and strong.