Fluoride is a natural mineral found in foods and water and is an important part of preventing cavities. The American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommend three fluoride sources for children. Your child will receive a fluoride treatment every six months when scheduled here for a regular dental checkup.
Toothpaste with Fluoride:
At home, it is recommended that all children use toothpaste with fluoride as soon as the first tooth erupts. Parents should apply the toothpaste to the child's toothbrush: a small smear about the size of a grain of rice for children under three years old and a small amount the size of a green pea for children older than three years old. This small amount of fluoride is safe if swallowed.
Water with Fluoride:
It is recommended that all children drink water with fluoride to keep teeth cavity free. If you live in a city or municipality which adds fluoride to the water then drinking tap water at home is enough. If your tap water is not fluoridated you may purchase bottled water with fluoride added from most grocery stores and pharmacies. The majority of bottled waters do not have fluoride added so read the label to see if it has added fluoride. Children 1-3 years old should drink 2-4 ounces/day while children older than three should drink 4-6 ounces/day. If you are unsure simply call our office and ask, we are happy to talk with you about Fluoride.
Professionally applied Fluoride:
The ADA and AAPD recommend seeing your dentist twice a year for a thorough exam, cleaning and fluoride application. Research shows that professionally applied fluoride twice a year can help prevent cavities.
Young children will have fluoride varnish applied. Our dentists may recommend a fluoride varnish treatment to any child or teen, depending on patient needs. Varnish is a pale yellow gel that sets quickly and has a pleasant smell and taste. Teeth may have a yellow color to them for the rest of the day and will be brushed off the next day. To ensure the full benefits of this treatment, you will be asked to not have the child brush his/her teeth until the next morning.
Topical fluoride in the form of a flavored gel is used on all other patients. This form of fluoride is brushed on for a full minute and suctioned thoroughly. All that is required is to not eat or drink for thirty minutes after the application.