Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that plays an important role in the health of your child’s teeth. Fluoride protects existing primary teeth and is integral in the formation of stronger permanent teeth. Your pediatric dentist can recommend the right amount and type of fluoride your child needs as part of his early dental care.
Fluoride and Tooth Health
Fluoride aids in a process called mineralization, which reinforces tooth enamel on a daily basis. When your child ingests fluoride, it is carried through the bloodstream to become a component of his saliva. Saliva deposits calcium, fluoride, and phosphate onto the teeth to rebuild enamel that has been worn away by cavity-causing bacteria. Fluoride also contributes to the future dental health of your child by strengthening his developing permanent teeth before they erupt. If your child is at an increased risk of developing tooth decay, your pediatric dentist may recommend supplemental fluoride to provide additional cavity protection.
Sources of Fluoride
Fluoride can either be ingested through foods and drinks or applied directly to the teeth. Children’s teeth can benefit from ingested sources of fluoride until the age of 16, while topically applied fluoride treatments are effective at any age. Your community’s drinking water may have beneficial levels of fluoride added to promote better dental health. If your drinking water is not fluoridated or your child drinks bottled water, your pediatric dentist may suggest fluoride supplement tablets. Topical fluoride is applied through toothpastes, rinses, and treatments received at the dentist’s office. Children should begin using fluoride toothpaste when they have learned to spit it out. Swallowing too much fluoride toothpaste can cause a harmless condition known as fluorosis, which discolors the permanent teeth.
Would you like to learn more about the role fluoride plays in your child’s dental health? Contact the pediatric dentists at Adelberg Montalvan Pediatric Dentistry by calling (516) 798-1111 to learn more. We are dedicated to providing informed pediatric dental care in Long Island for a lifetime of healthy smiles. Please visit our website for more information about our dentists and convenient office locations.