Fluoride And Your Kids: What You Should Know

Fluoride And Your Kids: What You Should Know

May 01, 2020

Cleaning and brushing teeth does not offer the whole protection needed to keep kids teeth healthy. While daily brushing and necessary oral hygiene is important, you might still find yourself on the spot with your dentist because of the water that the child drinks. Fluoride which is present in water has a role to play in keeping teeth healthy and enabling the proper development of the teeth. In addition, fluoride helps in preventing cavities in teeth.

What is fluoride?

In most cases, you will not be expected to seek fluoride for your child’s dental care because it exists naturally in water. Fluoride comes from fluorine which is a common element that exists naturally is the source of the fluoride that improves teeth.  Fluorideis known for its ability to prevent and even correct early onset of tooth decay making it one of the most desired mineral for dental health.

Tooth decay is the product of the dissolution of the hard surface of the teeth by sugar. Plaque, which exists in a form of a film of bacteria, can build up on the teeth if not well taken care of. This bacteria has the effect of breaking down the sugar in the food resulting to the production of the enamel damaging acids that actually corrodes it.

Unless the damage is stopped, the effect of the bacteria can extend beyond the enamel resulting to the decay of the actual tooth manifesting itself as cavities. Tooth that have cavities are weak and in most cases become painful as the nerve ending is exposed. The decay is also known to cause tooth loss or extensive infection in cases that go untreated.

How the fluoride works in eliminating tooth decay

When the fluoride is ingested, it gets to form part of the teeth.  As part of the teeth, the element protects the enamel from the dissolving effect of the acid and thus prevents the decaying of the teeth.  While fluoride cannot repair cavities, it can prevent the extent of decay and reverse the small effects of the acid.

Fluoride also protects the teeth at time of contact with the enamel or the surface of the teeth. Fluoride has the effect of demineralizing the teeth maintaining a shiny surface by reacting to the acid on the surface that would have caused the decay. This way, it is able to repair the effect of the acid on the surface by making the acids reaction ineffective.

To ensure that kids have healthy teeth, they need to ingest fluoride to enable the incorporation of the element in the structure of the teeth thus offering the needed protection to the enamels.  Children being known to love eating sweets can enjoy the assurance that the bacteria causing acid is dealt with by having fluoride as a constituent of the developing teeth.

Kids fluoride needs

It is important to note that children under the ages of 6 months do not need fluoride in their water. However, kids who are older will need the fluoride to offer the necessary protection for their teeth. You should consider visiting a general dentistry facility to discuss your Child’s fluoride needs when they are of this age.  In the event you live in an ear with minimal fluoride in the water, then your dentist will prescribe some fluoride for you.

Children of the ages 3 and above should only have a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to meet their needs. Children who are youngerthan 6 years should not use mouthwashes that contain fluoride. An ensure that the toothpaste is spit out and not swallowed for both cases.  Kids who are 6 years and younger should also not use mouth rinses that have fluoride unless they come from areas that are deprived of the fluoride in water of which you will need to discuss with the dentist.

Fluoride especially for children should be used with caution. It is always advisable that you seek the opinion of a dentist or visit a general dentistry with your child for a prescription on the right amount of fluoride for the child. There has been extensive discussion on the use of fluoride and overexposure to fluoride is not health and should be avoided.

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