What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a natural element that is found in water, tea, meat, eggs and fish. It helps prevent tooth decay and speed up the remineralization process in which tooth enamel is built back up. Dental office fluoride treatments are just one of the ways teeth absorb fluoride, along with fluoride toothpaste and rinses, and fluoride-containing water. While fluoride greatly reduces the number of cavities, it does little to protect the grooves of the teeth. Along with dental sealants, fluoride treatment can be highly effective in preventing tooth decay, even on difficult-to-clean grooved tooth surfaces.
Is Fluoride Treatment Safe?
Parents are naturally concerned about the toxicity of fluoride. We want to assure you that water fluoridation is documented to be safe and highly effective in preventing tooth decay. Research indicates water fluoridation has decreased the rate of tooth decay by over 50 percent. Fluoride toothpaste and other forms of fluoride supplements are safe when used properly. Fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinses also make teeth more resistant to dental decay and repair tiny areas of decay before they become cavities.
We spend time with the parents of our patients and with our patients discussing the safe usage of fluoride toothpaste and fluoride mouth rinses. Dosage must be appropriate and supervised by parents. Our pediatric dental specialists, Dr. Jorge Torres and his associates consider multiple factors, such as the developmental age of your child, when prescribing these and other fluoride supplements.
When is Professional Fluoride Treatment Recommended?
Based on research evidence, the fluoride guidelines of both the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend that children at moderate caries risk should receive a professional fluoride treatment at least every six months and that children of high risk should receive fluoride treatment more frequently, every three to six months.
Dentists have effectively used in-office fluoride treatments for decades to help protect the oral health of children and adults, especially patients who may be at a higher risk of developing tooth decay. If a child has a history of dental decay, poor oral hygiene, or health issues that affect the health of tooth enamel, Dr. Torres and his associates recommend topical fluoride treatment every three to six months.
How Is Topical Fluoride Treatment Done?
At your child’s routine dental visit, we apply a fluoride solution to each tooth with a brush. After the treatment, your child may be cautioned not to rinse, eat or drink for at least 30 minutes to allow the teeth to absorb the fluoride.
How Often Should My Child Get Fluoride Treatment?
We recommend periodic fluoride treatment every six months. In some instances, especially for children prone to dental decay, we may recommend more frequent treatments.
Does Your Child Need the Extra Preventive Measure of Fluoride Treatment?
If you are interested in reducing the risk of cavities, fluoride treatment can make a big difference. To find out more about this treatment and schedule a consultation with Pediatric Dentistry of Brandon, call our Brandon, FL dental office today — (813) 324-2604.