The American Dental Association (ADA) reports that fluoride is one of the top reasons that tooth decay over the last several years has been significantly reduced. Fluoride fights against cavities and tooth decay. It can make all the difference in your child’s oral health. Fluoride and fluoridation safeguard young smiles when they are used appropriately. Your team at Li’l Sunshine Smiles can teach you about the many benefits and advantages of regular fluoride treatments and practices. Make your appointment today to learn more.
Fluoride isn’t just a mineral, it is a tooth decay prevention power tool. Fluoride doesn’t just prevent tooth decay, but can reverse it. It is responsible for keeping your tooth enamel strong and indestructible. Demineralization occurs when bacteria from what you eat is converted into acids that remove minerals from the tooth’s surface. Fluoride reverses that process by remineralizing tooth surfaces. By keeping tooth enamel strong, cavities aren’t able to form inside teeth.
In our country, water and processed drinks provide about 75 percent of a person’s fluoride intake. Toothpaste also contains fluoride. Dietary prescription supplements can include fluoride as well as other professional dental products like mouth rinses, gels, and foams.
When your child comes in for an examination, they will often receive an in-office fluoride treatment before they leave to help give their teeth that extra boost.
More than 200 million Americans who receive their water from a community water system fluoridated at the correct level. If you are unsure about whether or not the water in your home is fluoridated, you can ask our office and we can help you find out.
Yes, you can have too much fluoride so be careful about supplements. In fact, if teeth get too much fluoride, it changes calcium signaling, mitochondrial function, and gene expression in the cells that comprise the tooth enamel. These cellular changes lead to a dental condition called dental fluorosis.
Dental fluorosis is the appearance of fine white lines or streaks across the tooth’s surface. Developing fluorosis is a risk until about age eight. Before eight, the teeth are still forming under the gums. Ultimately, ensuring you receive the right amount of fluoride is best. Dr. Botero can help you determine the amount of fluoride your child requires.
Keeping your baby’s mouth clean and free of bacteria from the milk she drinks can be done by using a soft cloth to wipe her gums clean. After the first tooth buds erupt, begin brushing them with a soft, child-sized toothbrush with a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice. (This amount will reduce the amount your child swallows until they understand how to spit out.) Once your child becomes better at spitting (around age 3), start using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and have your child spit after brushing.
Remember, your child will need your help brushing his teeth until at least age five or six.
Your child’s age and other factors will determine which fluoride treatment will be used. Most often, children receive a topical varnish when visiting our Li’l Sunshine Smiles office. This varnish is easily applied with a cotton swab or brush, through a rinse solution, or it can be placed in a tray that is held in the mouth for a few minutes.
Following a fluoride treatment, patients shouldn’t eat or drink for at least 30 minutes so teeth can absorb the fluoride and repair microscopic areas. Absorption will typically continue over a period of 24 hours and is the last process of a regular dental cleaning.
Fluoride treatments are a fast and efficient way to fight tooth decay. To learn more about our treatments or to schedule an appointment, call our office today at 813-576-0200!