Fluoride for Children
Tooth decay is a common problem in both children and adults. One proven way of reducing and preventing cavities is the use of fluoride.
Fluoride is a natural mineral found in drinking water and in a number of foods. It has been proven that fluoridated water can reduce tooth decay by forty to sixty percent. Fluoride is known to boost dental health by strengthening the enamel, thereby making it more resistant to decay. It also reduces the amount of acid produced by the bacteria on the teeth.
Children who are treated with fluoride supplements or drink fluoridated water when their teeth are developing tend to have shallow grooves in their teeth, allowing for easier removal of plaque. Fluoride also helps in repairing teeth that are in the early stages of decay.
Fluoride can be administered for better dental health in the following ways:
- Topical Fluoride: The effects of fluoride are maximized before the teeth have erupted. However, after full eruption of teeth, fluoride can still be applied to the teeth to prevent or slow down decay. Topical forms of fluoride include mouth rinse, tooth paste and fluoride gels that can either be applied at home or are administered by the dentist.
- Systemic Fluoride: In this method, fluoride is administered into the tooth surface through the blood stream. Systemic fluoride treatments include dietary supplements such as tablets, drops or lozenges, food and fluoridated water. In some areas, the drinking supply is fluoridated, so the need for additional supplements is not necessary. You can contact your local water or health department to know if fluoride addition is done in the drinking water supply.
Children benefit from systemic fluoride from birth until they turn 16. The American Dental Association recommends that fluoride supplements can be discontinued once a child turns 16.
If you wish to know more about how fluoride can positively influence your dental health, schedule an appointment with Papadakis & Gonzalez DDS in NYC. Call us at: (212) 689-7199.