Did you know that more than 90% of people aged 20 and older have had at least one cavity in the past? Most people get their first cavities during childhood due to poor dental hygiene. However, not getting enough fluoride may also contribute to cavity development and tooth decay.
This is why fluoride treatment for kids is so important. While fluoride treatment is also important for adults, it is especially important for children. This is because their baby teeth (or new adult teeth) are still developing.
Some children may even be especially susceptible to tooth decay and cavities. Keep reading and learn more about the importance of fluoride treatments for children and when your child should get these treatments.
What You Need To Know About Fluoride Treatment for Kids
Fluoride treatment for teeth is important because fluoride has the ability to protect your tooth enamel. Whenever you eat or drink something, especially something that has sugar in it, the bacteria that live in your mouth will flock to the food particles stuck to your teeth. When this happens, the bacteria will eat the food particles and produce acid as a waste product.
This acid is very harmful to your teeth and it will slowly strip away your tooth enamel. If you never brush or floss your teeth and if you don’t expose your teeth to fluoride, you will eventually suffer from tooth decay and cavities. This can also lead to tooth discoloration and, in severe cases, tooth loss.
Dental fluoride treatment, however, can prevent these problems. This is because your tooth enamel absorbs fluoride and becomes stronger as a result. In a way, fluoride acts as a protective shield for your tooth enamel against any acid that the bacteria in your mouth produce.
Besides that, fluoride can even help reverse the early stages of tooth decay. This is due to the fact that fluoride is capable of demineralization. This means that, even when bacterial acid removes the important minerals from your tooth enamel, fluoride can help put those minerals back.
Again, this helps keep your teeth strong and resilient. Fluoride is very important for children in particular because their teeth are still developing. The last thing you want for your child is for him to have a bunch of dental problems right off the bat.
Keep in mind that fluoride treatments for children are very safe as long as your child doesn’t get too much fluoride. Getting too much fluoride may cause white stains on the enamel, but this is an uncommon condition. Usually, most children don’t get enough fluoride. Once your child gets enough fluoride, you won’t have to worry so much about your child suffering from cavities or tooth decay.
Instead, the fluoride will envelop your child’s teeth and make the tooth enamel stronger than ever. Of course, a fluoride treatment is no substitute for brushing and flossing. So, it is still important to show your child the basics of dental hygiene.
When To Get Fluoride Treatments for Your Child and What To Expect
You should schedule your child’s first dental visit as soon as his baby teeth start to erupt. At that point, you can ask your dentist about fluoride treatments and if they would be a good choice for your child. Most dentists will wait until your child’s baby teeth have all erupted before providing fluoride treatments.
Fluoride treatments may not be necessary if your child is already getting enough fluoride. For example, your child may already be getting plenty of fluoride from his diet, toothpaste, and drinking water. If not, however, fluoride treatments may be a good idea.
Once your child starts to get fluoride treatments, it is important not to get these treatments too often. As mentioned before, too much fluoride can cause certain dental problems. A good rule of thumb is to get your child fluoride treatments about twice a year.
However, if your child is particularly susceptible to tooth decay and cavities, you may need to employ more fluoride treatments. It is a good idea to provide your child with these dental treatments until the child is a teenager, about 16. At that point, the child’s teeth will be mostly developed and fluoride will no longer be as important.
But what about the fluoride treatment process itself?
This procedure simply involves the application of a fluoride gel to your child’s teeth. The dentist may apply the gel directly to the child’s teeth or he may fill a dental tray with the gel.
Then, the child can bite down on the tray so the gel can mold around his teeth. In some cases, a fluoride varnish might even be used. As you might expect, your dentist will “paint” this fluoride substance onto your child’s teeth where it will sit for a certain period of time.
After some time, the fluoride will start to absorb into the child’s teeth. After the treatment is done, it is important to keep your child from eating or drinking anything for about an hour afterward. You also shouldn’t brush your child’s teeth for several hours after the treatment.
This will allow the treatment to finish absorbing into your child’s teeth.
All About Fluoride Treatment for Kids
Fluoride treatment for kids is very important for your child’s dental health. Fluoride absorbs into a person’s tooth enamel and strengthens the enamel as a result. It also makes it less likely for teeth to suffer from tooth decay or cavities.
This treatment is important for children so they have a foundation of good dental health as they grow up. To learn more about dental treatments from a Lexington pediatric dentist, contact us here.