You’ve probably heard the term “fluoride” tossed around a lot when it comes to oral health, but what exactly is fluoride and why do our littlest ones need it?
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a natural mineral found in rocks, plants, groundwater, etc. In the mid 1940’s, scientists discovered that children who were exposed to fluoride in their drinking water had fewer cavities. Since then, fluoride has been an essential component of dental health due to its ability to strengthen enamel, prevent decay, and foster overall dental wellness.
How Do Fluoride Treatments Work?
A typical fluoride treatment occurs at the end of a regular dental appointment. A dental professional will apply a foam, gel, or varnish to each tooth with a brush or tray. The fluoride then seeps into the enamel, creating a fortress against harmful bacteria and acids. Following the application, patients are advised to refrain from eating or drinking for a brief period to allow the fluoride to work its magic.
Why Do Children Need Fluoride?
Fluoride treatments are crucial during the teeth’s developmental stage, and it is highly recommended that children between the ages of three and 16 years old receive a minimum of two fluoride treatments per year.
Including fluoride treatments during your child’s Little Smiles dental checkup helps them rebuild enamel to slow or prevent cavities from forming and ensures their adult teeth come in strong and healthy.
At Little Smile’s we offer a variety of fluoride flavors including Melon, Caramel, Cherry, Bubble Gum, Mint, and Orange!
Aside from treatments during their Little Smiles visits, there are numerous ways you can incorporate this vital mineral into your child’s dental routine, such as special children’s toothpastes, mouthwashes, and supplements.