Fluoride Treatment for Children: Cavity Protection at an Early Age
Here at Montreal Smiles, we make sure every member of your household gets the treatment they need. Children have different dental care needs than the elderly, and so we make sure to adapt to the patient we are seeing. Effective family dentistry is all about this ability to cater to our patients.
Many people have asked us what our opinions are regarding fluoride, particularly with regard to children’s dentistry. The team at our Montreal, QC dental practice would like to discuss the benefits of fluoride and why it’s generally a good option for cavity prevention and protection.
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral that is found in drinking water and many foods we consume on a daily basis. Fluoride helps strengthen the teeth, making them more resistant to acid and tooth decay. Fluoride is essential for the remineralization process, in which your saliva helps redeposit minerals into your tooth enamel, which helps keep your teeth strong.
Properly administered in the right doses, fluoride can also help reverse the early signs of tooth decay, such as initial lesions on the teeth. This is preferable to getting a dental filling placed since patients get to maintain their natural tooth structure.
Why Fluoride Treatment Is Helpful for Children
Children are often more prone to getting cavities than adults. This is due to a variety of factors. For one, children may be less likely to brush and floss regularly, resulting in a higher risk of tooth decay. If a child snacks on sugary or starchy foods a lot of the time, cavities are more likely as well.
Fluoride treatment provides an additional barrier of protection from tooth decay. Children will have stronger teeth growing up, and will require fewer fillings early on in life.
In-Office Fluoride Treatments
In-office fluoride treatments can be given during regular dental visits every six months. Using a fluoride gel, foam, or varnish, the dentist applied the substance directly onto the teeth. Patients are asked to sit with the fluoride on their teeth for a minute or so.
After the fluoride treatment is completed, patients should not eat or drink anything until their dentist advises them to (usually 30 minutes to an hour). This helps the fluoride fully fortify the tooth enamel.
In addition to in-office fluoride treatment, children can also take fluoride supplements. Available by prescription, these tablet will help increase a child’s fluoride intake and strengthen the teeth in the process. Combining in-office care with fluoride supplements can be very helpful in children who seem more prone to cavities even with good oral hygiene practices.
Be sure that your child only takes these tablets as instructed. Taking too much fluoride can lead to tooth discoloration and other negative effects.
Long-Term Dental Health Benefits
If a child is able to avoid cavities, they retain more of their healthy tooth structure over time. This means the teeth are healthier for longer, and are less likely to develop problems decades later. Just a bit of preventative care can really make a major difference in someone's life.
Contact an Experienced Family Dentist
For more information about preventative dental care how how we can help your children have healthy, beautiful smiles, be sure to contact our family dentistry practice today. The team at Montreal Smiles is here to help your entire family experience great dental health.