Parents must make decisions on a daily basis that can affect the futures of their children. Decisions that affect the health of your child's teeth and gums are particularly important, since oral health is closely linked to the overall health of the body.
Tooth decay is one of the problems that parents try to combat with regular brushing and limited sugar consumption. If you want to provide your child with maximum protection against tooth decay, it can be beneficial to utilize fluoride to help strengthen the enamel on your child's teeth.
1. Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral.
Some parents are surprised to discover the fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral. It might sound like a crazy chemical that is being added to your municipal water supply, but fluorides are inorganic compounds that can be found in abundance throughout nature.
You don't have to worry about introducing any harmful substances to your child when you rely on water, toothpastes, and other products containing fluoride to help build strong and healthy enamel.
2. Fluoride needs vary from one child to the next.
Even if you know that your child needs fluoride every day for optimal dental health, you might not realize that the fluoride needs of each child can vary.
Each child has unique risk factors that affect the level of tooth decay he or she could experience over a lifetime. Some of these factors include sugar consumption, genetic enamel strength, and the presence of any adverse dental conditions.
It's important that you discuss your child's fluoride needs with your dentist so that you can ensure your child is receiving enough exposure to this mineral to protect against tooth decay.
3. Your child can have too much fluoride.
As you discuss your child's fluoride needs with your dentist, you need to be sure that you inventory all source of fluoride exposure in your child's routine.
Most municipal water supplies are treated with fluoride additives. There is fluoride in toothpaste and some mouthwashes. Some children might take a fluoride supplement or receive fluoride treatments at the dentist's office. Fluoride exposure is cumulative, and too much fluoride could cause your child to develop a condition called fluorosis.
Fluorosis occurs when excessive levels of fluoride cause white spots or lines to form in the enamel of the teeth. The condition cannot be reversed. Costly cosmetic dental treatments will be needed to conceal permanent teeth damaged by fluorosis. Your dentist will be able to help you reduce fluoride exposure to safe levels for your child. Contact a clinic, like ComfortCare Dental, for more help.