What is fluoride and how does it work?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring element. When used in small doses it helps remineralize enamel and prevent tooth decay. It is found naturally in water and many foods. It is also added to toothpastes, mouth washes, and gels. Studies have found it to be a very effective in helping to prevent tooth decay

Is fluoride safe?

When used properly, studies show fluoride to be very safe and effective. Research has shown drinking fluoridated water has reduced the rate of dental decay by almost 50 percent. Fluoride is safe in very small doses. The amount found in fluoridated water is very minimal and is monitored and regulated making drinking water very safe. That found in toothpaste, on the other hand, is highly concentrated. It is not meant to be swallowed. Proper toothpaste amounts in children should be monitored. Encourage your kids to rinse and spit after brushing. Do not leave toothpaste where young children can reach it.

What toothpaste should my child use?

Your child should use a toothpaste with fluoride and the seal of approval from the American Dental Association. Your pediatric dentist will discus when your child should start using fluoridated tooth paste and techniques for proper brushing.

How much toothpaste should my child use?

The AAPD, currently recommends toddlers use a "smear" of toothpaste once their teeth began to erupt. A "pea sized" amount can be used once they are more comfortable with rinsing and spitting. Children should be supervised to avoid and minimize swallowing of the tooth paste. Ingesting toothpaste can potentially damage developing adult teeth.

What is topical fluoride?

A topical fluoride gel or varnish is high concentration of fluoride carefully applied by the pediatric dentist at your child's check up appointments. It has been documented to be safe and effective in fighting tooth decay. It continues to absorb into the enamel for up to 24 hours. If you have any questions or concerns please speak with your pediatric dentist. In some cases such as medically compromised children, your pediatric dentist may recommend additional fluoride supplements.


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