What Parents Should Know About Fluoride

Do you know what fluoride is and how it benefits your child’s smile? Harrisburg Pediatric Dentistry is here to bring clarity on the effects of fluoride and why it’s important for your children’s teeth.

What is fluoride?

It may sound scary, but fluoride is completely natural. Fluoride is a natural mineral found in water sources. Scientifically speaking, it is the ionic form of the trace element fluorine. Fluorine is commonly found in the environment, seeping from the soil and rocks into groundwater.

Use of fluoride for dental health

Studies have proven that the use of fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel. In uses of fluoride washes and toothpastes where it is applied to teeth topically, fluoride helps prevent cavities and tooth decay. In fact, early stages of tooth decay can be stopped and reversed with the use of fluoride treatments.

In some communities, fluoride is added to the water. Ingesting fluoride through water helps strengthen tooth enamel, as well as helps your children’s teeth develop as they grow.

If your community does not add fluoride to the water, or your family only drinks bottled water, consult with your child’s pediatric dentist about fluoride supplements. These supplements can be prescribed for children six months and older, and are very important to ensuring they do not develop cavities at a young age.

Everyday use of fluoride

As mentioned before, fluoride is delivered systemically and used topically as a safe and effective way  to prevent tooth decay and dental cavities. For topical everyday use, fluoride is added to toothpastes and mouth rinses.

When your child is old enough to spit out their toothpaste when brushing, they should be using an ADA-approved toothpaste twice daily for brushing their teeth. Different flavors and cartoon character tubes are available to help make brushing fun for your child.

If you have more questions about the use of fluoride for the benefit of your child’s teeth, contact Harrisburg Pediatric Dentistry today.

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Child getting dental radiograph at Harrisburg Pediatric Dentistry