Children are more prone to getting cavities than adults, which means it’s vital that their teeth receive adequate fluoride protection from a young age.
However, too much fluoride can also pose health risks for kids. In today’s blog post, we’ll go over how fluoride protects your teeth and what you need to know about safe fluoride treatments for children.
What is fluoride and how do you get it?
Fluoride is a mineral found in soil, water and various foods that’s been proven to strengthen tooth enamel and make teeth more resistant to decay.
There are a few ways to get enough fluoride to protect your teeth. Many municipalities adjust the level of fluoride in their drinking water to help keep residents’ teeth healthy. Research shows that the right amount of fluoride in drinking water lowers of the risk of tooth decay in one out of every four adults and one out of every three children. Here in Edmonton, we’re lucky enough to have fluoride in our drinking water (unlike Calgary, which no longer has water fluoridation).
Another way you can up your intake of fluoride is by using toothpastes and rinses that contain it as an ingredient. Finally, it’s important for both kids and adults to see a dentist every six months to receive fluoride treatments from a dental professional.
Should children use fluoridated toothpastes?
Whether your child should use fluoridated toothpaste depends on their age and risk for tooth decay. If your child is over the age of three, the Canadian Dental Association recommends using toothpaste that contains fluoride. However, you should supervise their brushing until you’re certain that they’ve learned how to brush correctly without swallowing. Only use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
Fluoridated toothpastes aren’t advised for children under the age of three unless a dentist determines they’re at risk for developing tooth decay. This could be true if you live in an area without fluoridated drinking water, your child regularly consumes sugar between meals (including sweetened medications).
Avoid giving kids too much—or too little—fluoride
It’s essential to monitor kids’ fluoride intake to avoid dental fluorosis, a condition that causes tooth discolouration and damage. It results from ingesting too much fluoride while tooth enamel is still developing. To make sure your kids are getting enough fluoride without risking the possibility of fluorosis, consult with a children’s dentist.
If you’re looking for a family dentist in Edmonton, get in touch with Janz Family Dental. We provide a wide range of dental services, including cosmetic procedures. Our dentists are also highly experienced in working with kids and are a great choice for your child’s first teeth cleaning. To book an appointment with a dentist at our clinic in Edmonton, contact us today.