There are a lot of things to keep track of when it comes to taking care of your kids. Different records, appointments, and so many decisions to make when it comes to their healthcare. A common question we hear is around fluoride and whether it’s safe for your kids. And it’s a good question! Let’s take a look at some of the FAQs we hear about fluoride.
What is Fluoride and Why is it Important?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can help stop cavities from forming. Our mouths naturally have bacteria that combine with sugar from our food to create acid. That acid can harm tooth enamel and cause decay. Fluoride protects our teeth from that acid and helps to rebuild enamel.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics
, fluoride toothpaste is safe for children to use after their first tooth has erupted. However, it is important to avoid the overuse of fluoride. Until a child is three years old, only a smear of fluoride toothpaste is needed. After the age of three, use a pea-sized amount. If you have any questions on this, feel free to ask one of our pediatric dentists
What is Dental Fluorosis?
The appearance of faint white lines or streaks on the teeth of younger children who have consumed too much fluoride over long periods is known as Dental Fluorosis. This condition occurs under the gums before teeth erupt. Once teeth have come in, your child cannot develop Dental Fluorosis.
The good news is that this isn’t a disease and doesn’t affect the health of your child’s teeth. In fact – in most cases, the streaks or lines are so subtle, that usually, only a dentist during an exam would even be able to notice them.
While Dental Fluorosis
has no effect on the function of your child’s teeth, it’s important not to expose your child to too much fluoride that might result in fluorosis. After your child has reached age eight, their chance of developing fluorosis goes down significantly. In younger children, the best way to prevent Dental Fluorosis is to not overuse fluoride. Make sure that you use the recommended amount of fluoride toothpaste and brush twice a day.
Do I Need to Worry if My Child Swallows Toothpaste with Fluoride?
If you are using the recommended amount of toothpaste for your child’s age, the amount of fluoride that they could swallow is minimal and does not pose a risk. Make sure to keep toothpaste out of the reach of your child. If they do get a hold of and swallow more than the recommended amount, it could cause an upset stomach, but is nothing to worry about unless it happens often.
Fluorinated water poses no risks for your little one. Water with fluoride is much, much healthier for your child’s teeth than most other beverages. Juice, sodas, sports drinks, and other common kid drinks often lead to tooth decay and other unhealthy side effects.
Fluoride is Safe!
It’s great that you’re looking into ways to keep your child’s teeth and body healthy. Fluoride is a safe way to help prevent tooth decay and should be incorporated into your daily oral hygiene routine as soon as your baby has their first tooth. If you have any more questions, we’re more than happy to answer them! Just let us know.