Tooth decay is a common chronic condition affecting millions of children across the United States. This health concern causes pain and infections that affect kids’ quality of life and contribute to lost school days. Fortunately, dental caries is preventable.
Use of Fluoride to Control and Prevent Tooth Decay
Use of proper amounts of fluoride is one of easiest ways of preventing and controlling cavities in both kids and adults. This mineral makes teeth more resistant to plaque’s acids and less susceptible to decay.
Common Sources of Fluoride
Children and adults can get fluoride from the following common sources:
• Fluoride toothpaste
• Fluoridated water
• Prescription supplements
• Fluoridated dental products.
Getting the Recommended Amount of Fluoride
Water and processed beverages are usually the leading sources of consumed fluoride, Salt Lake Pediatric Dentist explains. Swallowed fluoride toothpaste and fluoridated dental products can also contribute to fluoride intake.
Ask a pediatric dentist to assess the fluoride level of your kid’s principal source of drinking water. If the fluoride level of the water is deficient, or the water contains no fluoride, the kid’s dentist may prescribe appropriate supplements.
Danger of Too Much Fluoride
While fluoride is vital to oral health, consumption of too much of the mineral by children whose teeth are still developing can cause dental fluorosis. The condition refers to a change in the appearance of tooth enamel. To prevent dental fluorosis, children under the age of eight years should only consume the recommended amount of fluoride.
To prevent the child from taking too much fluoride, the CDC recommends that you supervise the use of toothpaste by your child and to encourage her to spit out excess toothpaste. Also, if your child is younger than six years, don’t give her fluoride mouth rinses.
The importance of fluoride in oral health management can’t be overemphasized. However, there is need to make sure that your child consumes only the right amount of this vital mineral. Too little fluoride and the child may develop tooth decay; too much fluoride and she may develop dental fluorosis.