Should Parents be Using Fluoride on their Children?

Should Parents be Using Fluoride on their Children?

We often have parents asking our doctors the suitable use or potential consequences of fluoride with their children. This is a topic that parents should educate themselves on as the amount of fluoride used at a young age can affect a child’s teeth in the long run.

Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth. It also reverses early decay. However, for young children if too much fluoride is consumed while the teeth are still in developmental stages, a condition called fluorosis may result and you will notice white spots on the teeth.

For young infants, low amounts of fluoride are provided through breast milk. Fluoridated water consumption and dietary sources of the mother are some of the factors that determine how much fluoride is contained in breast milk. As the child gets older, they are able to obtain suitable amounts of fluoride naturally in their foods and water.

Your dentist or dental hygienist at Signal Hill Dental Centre may recommend the use of home and/or professional fluoride treatments for the following reasons:
• Deep pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces of teeth.
• Exposed and sensitive root surfaces.
• Fair to poor oral hygiene habits.
• Frequent sugar and carbohydrate intake.
• Inadequate exposure to fluorides.
• Inadequate saliva flow due to medical conditions, medical treatments or medications.

Remember, fluoride alone will not prevent tooth decay! It is important to brush at least twice a day, floss regularly, eat balanced meals, reduce sugary snacks, and visit your dentist on a regular basis.