You’ve had a lot of cavities in your day, and you’re worried about passing that on to your son or daughter. If only there were a way to make sure their teeth aren’t exposed to as much decay as yours were. Fortunately, there is, with fluoride. Fluoride treatment can help prevent your little one from getting as many cavities as they would otherwise. Your kids’ dentist in Helena is here to answer all of your questions about fluoride.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs in nature that helps strengthen the enamel of your teeth, making them more resistant to cavities. It can even help re-mineralize enamel that has been weakened by decay. Fluoride is naturally found in some tap water, as well as certain foods. It’s also commonly used in toothpaste. Be sure that your toothpaste contains fluoride to get all the possible benefits the next time you brush your teeth.
What Are the Advantages of Fluoride?
The main way that fluoride can benefit you and your child is by preventing tooth decay. It strengthens tooth enamel, preventing bacteria in plaque from eating through it and creating cavities. Fluoride has also been shown to reduce early signs of tooth decay. If you or your child are at risk for cavities, it couldn’t hurt to switch to a fluoride toothpaste.
How Can I Make Sure My Child Gets Enough Fluoride?
If you can, call your water company and see if your tap water contains fluoride. Most tap water does, but it never hurts to make sure. Additionally, check the ingredients of every tube of toothpaste you buy to have sure they have fluoride. When in doubt, if the toothpaste has the ADA Seal of Approval, it definitely has fluoride. Be sure to brush at least twice a day, or after every meal and snack if you can, to achieve all of the benefits that fluoride has to offer. If you’re still worried about your child developing cavities, ask their dentist about a special fluoride treatment at their next checkup to make their teeth stronger.
Is There Such Thing as Too Much Fluoride?
Consuming too much fluoride while the adult teeth are still developing can result in a condition called fluorosis. This is merely a cosmetic condition, not a disease. It causes white or brown discoloration on the adult teeth. Unfortunately, the stains are permanent, so be sure that your child doesn’t swallow fluoride toothpaste. The stains can always be masked with whitening treatment, so it’s not the end of the world.
Fluoride can provide a lot of benefits to your and your child’s teeth. next time you visit your dentist for a checkup, ask if fluoride treatment is right for you.
About the Author
Dr. Matthew Coplin treats all of his child patients at Kalmor Dental in Helena, MT like individuals, not just figures on a chart. His goal is to make each visit unique and comfortable for every child who walks through his doors. To learn about whether you can benefit from fluoride treatment, visit Dr. Coplin’s website or call him at (406)-442-1377.