The introduction of trace amounts of fluoride in American tap water has helped reduce tooth decay for over 70 years. Fluorinated water has reduced tooth decay by 25 percent, confirms the centers for disease control and prevention (CDC).
Fluoride treatment near you from dentists might offer even more significant benefits to protect your teeth. Fluoride treatments are beneficial for everyone at risk of tooth decay, especially children but may be unsuitable for some.
This article focuses on the benefits and side effects of fluoride treatments for children besides the treatment recommendations.
Fluoride treatments for children are generally professional in-office treatments provided by the pediatric dentist near you to strengthen your child’s tooth enamel in their battle against cavities. The fluoride therapy pediatric dentists provide is highly concentrated than the fluoride available in water and toothpaste. The dentist applies the fluoride to your child’s teeth using a brush or swab, and the in-office treatments are in the form of solutions, varnish, gels, or foam.
Fluoride treatments in Houston, TX, will likely not cause any anxiety in your child or financial distress in you because the dentist completes the treatment within a few minutes, leaving your child to continue with their regular activities immediately after. However, they might advise your child not to eat or drink anything for 30 minutes to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride entirely.
Fluoride treatments for children are covered by dental insurers and will require no financial investment on your part if you have dental insurance.
The dentist might recommend higher concentrations of fluoride treatment your child can use at home if there is an increased risk of cavities. However, although the products are available over-the-counter, they are best used under the supervision of a dentist.
Children’s teeth benefit in several ways when provided fluoride treatments.
Fluoride helps the body to utilize minerals like calcium and phosphate better because the teeth reabsorb the minerals to repair weakened tooth enamel. Fluoride joins into the tooth structure in developing teeth to strengthen the enamel making them less susceptible to attacks by the bacteria and cavities for life. This fundamental mineral can slow or reverse the onset of cavities by harming the bacteria responsible for them.
When combined, the benefits mentioned help reduce the risk of cavities besides slowing them down. In addition, the treatment delays the need for expensive dental work and prolongs the life of primary teeth. Most importantly, it reduces the time and money you have to spend at dental offices for unnecessary treatments.
When fluoride prevents cavities or slows them down, it also helps prevent gum disease, reduces tooth pain, and prevents premature loss of teeth.
Fluoride treatments improve oral health, states the WHO, which claims oral health is a significant predictor of overall health. Conversely, poor oral health causes various health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, osteoporosis, cancer, et cetera.
Natural health advocates have expressed reservations about children’s fluoride treatment at high doses. They argue that fluoride is unsafe for children and fluorinated water might be dangerous. However, these are myths provided by a few to cause widespread alarm among many people that fluoride treatments or fluoridated water causes harmful side effects.
Tooth discoloration is the most common side effect of fluoride treatments. Fluorosis is a condition leaving white streaks or other stains on children’s teeth. However, fluorosis occurs when a child ingests too much fluoride while their primary and permanent teeth are developing under the gums. Children can develop fluorosis from infancy to 8 years of age.
Tooth discoloration is more familiar among young children who might consume too much fluoride by swallowing or taking fluoride supplements. Drinking water also contains fluoride in the USA to provide children with higher quantities of fluoride than they need.
The American Academy of pediatric dentistry recommends parents must use a minuscule amount of fluoride toothpaste to brush their child’s tooth soon after it erupts. The brushing protects the child’s teeth without making them susceptible to the risk of fluorosis even when the child accidentally swallows the toothpaste.
Fluoride treatments for children are generally safe and will likely not cause any side effects so long as children are supervised and not allowed to use fluoride rinses at home because they might swallow too much fluoride. However, parents must realize fluoride treatments help their children prevent cavities by strengthening their tooth enamel, and the treatments are also beneficial for permanent teeth.
If your child is prone to developing cavities, you help yourself by visiting Urbach Pediatric Dentistry with your child, where they can receive fluoride treatments for children to safeguard their teeth.