Fluoride is a mineral that is essential to maintain strong, healthy teeth. Knowing the right amount of fluoride exposure for your child, however, can be a bit tricky. Even in adults, too much fluoride can be harmful to your health, and this is even truer in children’s more delicate systems. To help you understand your child’s fluoride needs and whether a fluoride treatment may be helpful to protect his or her developing teeth, we’ve got all the details you need to know about this mineral below.
What Does Fluoride Do For Your Child’s Teeth?
As your baby’s teeth develop, fluoride is necessary to help strengthen the teeth and ensure that they are resistant to erosion from bacterias, acids, and sugars. You may not think that your baby encounters many acids and sugars in their diet, but breast milk, formulas, juices, and baby foods can all contain them.
How Much Fluoride Is Needed?
The American Association of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that babies become exposed to fluoride starting from six months old. The recommended dose is about .23 mg/day until the child is about three years old. If you have fluoridated drinking water, your child will likely get enough just from that. If you don’t have fluoridated water, talk with your doctor or dentist about whether a fluoride supplement is right for your child.
What Is A Fluoride Treatment?
A fluoride treatment is the application of a gel, varnish, or foam that has a higher concentration of this mineral. The dentist simply applies the substance to the teeth and leaves it on for just a few minutes, before cleaning it away.
Does My Child Really Need Fluoride Treatment?
Many parents worry that a fluoride treatment will harm their child, as too much fluoride can cause illness. However, the vast majority of children need and will benefit from regular fluoride treatments to help strengthen their baby teeth, as well as the developing adult teeth. If your child does not drink fluoridated water, consumes sugary foods and drinks often, does not brush his or her teeth at least twice a day, and has already shown signs of tooth decay, then a fluoride treatment will greatly reduce the chance of cavities and other dental issues.
The best way to determine just how much fluoride your child is receiving and whether they can benefit from a fluoride treatment is to have an honest conversation with your pediatric dentist about your child’s food and dental hygiene habits. With this information, your dentist can make sure your child is receiving just the right amount of fluoride to help ensure that little smile stays bright. Do you have a question about your child’s fluoride needs? Give us a call today!