Healthy teeth and gums are essential parts of your child’s dental health. That’s why it’s crucial to consult your dentist about proper dental hygiene practices even before your child’s first tooth appears.
Your dentist may recommend that your baby receive periodic fluoride treatments to prevent tooth decay. This is usually done every three to six months. The frequency of treatments mostly depends on how prone your child’s teeth are to decay and cavities.
Our dentists are experienced in fluoride treatment for kids. If you frequently visit the dentist with your child, as recommended by the Canadian Academy of Pediatrics, then your dentist will do fluoride treatments at the right times to prevent cavities and tooth decay in toddlers, infants and older children.
How Does Fluoride Work?
Fluoride is a pale, yellow gel that quickly dries up when applied to your kid’s teeth using a tiny brush. It sets immediately, has a pleasant smell and a fruity taste.
Fluoride works by replenishing minerals that may have been eroded by bacteria on the surface of the tooth. It also prevents the growth of harmful bacteria on teeth and stops the formation of cavities.
While fluoride can’t remove decay, it creates a strong barrier on the tooth enamel, which helps stop decay from penetrating further into the teeth. It’s a mineral that strengthens the outer surface of the tooth.
Fluoride is very beneficial to kids’ teeth. The earlier they’re exposed to it, the less likely they will develop cavities. One study found that kids who received regular fluoride treatments were up to 40% less likely to develop cavities or experience tooth decay.
What Does It Do?
Fluoride can help prevent tooth decay, slow it down or stop it from penetrating the deeper parts of the tooth. Fluoride treatments for kids work best to prevent tooth decay and the formation of cavities when one brushes regularly using a toothpaste that has the right amount of fluoride.
What Are the Benefits?
Fluoride provides several benefits for your child’s teeth:
- It helps the body better absorb minerals, such as phosphate and calcium. The teeth then use these minerals to strengthen the enamel.
- It goes into the tooth structure to repair and reinforce the enamel, making it less prone to bacteria and cavity formation.
- It prevents, slows down and even reverses the formation of cavities by destroying the bacteria that cause them.
When used frequently, fluoride:
- Reduces the formation of cavities
- Slows down the development of cavities
- Delays the need for expensive dental treatments in the future
- Strengthens the tooth enamel
- Prolongs the life of your baby’s teeth
- Reduces time and money that would have been spent at the dentist’s office in the future
By preventing the formation of cavities and destroying bacteria that cause tooth decay, fluoride treatments also prevent gum disease, decrease tooth pain and prevent tooth loss.
Fluoride treatments improve your child’s dental health, which goes a long way toward improving their overall health. According to WHO, poor oral hygiene can lead to a wide array of health conditions, including heart disease.
When Should Children Start Fluoride?
Kids should start fluoride as soon as they develop a few teeth. Dentists should administer fluoride treatments three to six times a year, depending on how prone your child is to developing cavities.
What Is the Process of Fluoride Treatment?
Fluoride gel is applied on the front and sides of each tooth using a soft brush. It’s sticky, but it sets and hardens as soon as it contacts saliva in the mouth. Your baby will feel the solidified fluoride gel on their teeth but won’t be able to lick it off.
Fluoride application is not painful. However, young kids may cry before, during and after the treatment because of the intrusion in their mouths. Luckily, the application process takes just a few minutes. Also, applying the gel while a child is crying is a lot easier because their mouth is wide open.
The dentist may ask you to hold your baby on your lap while they apply the fluoride treatment. Your child can eat and drink immediately after treatment.
On the Day of Application
A fluoride treatment will not be done if your child has sores in their mouth. Some children may also use fluoride drops that they should take two days after the treatment.
The fluoride treatment should remain on your child’s teeth the entire day and overnight to ensure it seeps into the enamel as needed. Do not brush your child’s teeth for the next 24 hours. After 24 hours, brush them twice a day in the morning and evening with toothpaste that contains the right amount of fluoride.
Are There Any Side Effects?
If kids swallow too much fluoride over a long period, they could get white spots on their teeth. However, the risk is very minimal.
Book an Appointment Now
Fluoride treatment for children is essential for your child’s growing teeth. Please book an appointment at our Blackfalds or Rimbey offices, and one of our general dentists will assess your child’s need for additional fluoride.