Fluoride – while it has been a trusted mainstay of dental health for kids for years, recent news stories and conspiracy theories have placed fluoride in question. Because this mineral is key in creating proper oral hygiene in children, DeMartino Dental Group, the experts in children’s dentistry in Phillipsburg, NJ, weigh in to give you the truth about fluoride and debunk all the myths.
Is Fluoride Safe For Children?
Dr. Nélida Garcia-DeMartino says that fluoride is not only safe for children, but crucial to building strong teeth when kids are young. Since youngsters are still developing hand-eye coordination and motor skills, they are especially prone to dealing with tooth decay. Kids also enjoy a plethora of sweet foods and beverages, like fruit juices, that compound the problem – this is where fluoride comes in. This mineral works by strengthening enamel to give kids extra protection against decay. Fluoride is safe and effective – this is the reason it’s the main ingredient in toothpaste, for both kids and adults. This natural-occurring substance is so harmless, even babies can undergo fluoride treatments without issue.
Since Children Lose Their Baby Teeth, How Important Is Fluoride For Kids?
Many parents may underestimate the importance of proper dental care, including the use of fluoride, when it comes to their children. Since baby teeth eventually fall out, there is a common misconception that fluoride is a permanent fix to a temporary problem. Although it is true that deciduous teeth (“baby” teeth) don’t remain in the mouth forever, correct dental hygiene for young ones is important for three main reasons:
- Pain – Regardless of how long baby teeth stay in the jaw of their young owners, cavities, enamel decay, and exposed tooth roots can cause severe pain for kids. Fluoride treatments from Dr. Garcia-DeMartino helps protect them from these common issues and keep their mouths pain free as they develop.
- Good Habits, Young Age – When kids are young, they soak up every bit of information they can, including good dental health habits (like brushing with a fluoride toothpaste). Because they are primed to retain information and experiences when young, a bad first experience treating painful cavities with drills and needles can lead to dental anxiety at their subsequent visits. It’s much better to use a toothpaste with fluoride in it and prevent cavities and make the dentist a pleasant experience that kids look forward to.
- Prevent Gum Disease – Because kids are still learning to care for their teeth properly, they can easily miss brushing along their gum line. When cavities form along the gums, the same bacteria that caused the tooth problem can grow and turn into gum disease, a chronic, life-long issue that kids can avoid by using a fluoridated toothpaste and having treatments from your dentist in Phillipsburg, NJ.
What About Dental Fluorosis?
Dental fluorosis is a mostly cosmetic condition with no negative health effects – this common condition is caused by taking in too much fluoride, primarily by swallowing toothpaste and mouthwash. Usually only dentists can see the small white spots on teeth that dental fluorosis causes, but be sure to teach your children to spit out toothpaste and mouthwash properly to avoid this issue.
Now that you know fluoride is not only safe, but a cornerstone to dental health in kids, schedule an appointment with Dr. Nélida Garcia-DeMartino for a cleaning, checkup, and fluoride treatment for your favorite boy or girl.
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