Dr. Krepkh Explains How Fluoride Helps Children’s Teeth
Fluoride has been added to public drinking water in the United States for many years, and has been the subject of quite a lot of controversy.
Fluoride Role in Dental Care
Even though rates of tooth decay have dropped significantly during this time, some people argue that this fall would have occurred anyway due to increased access to professional dental care and the high availability of fluoridated oral health products such as toothpaste. So can fluoridated water make much of a difference?
A study carried out a few years ago seems to prove that it can, as it showed a strong link between fluoride levels in the state where a person was born, and their rates of tooth loss as an adult, regardless of the amount of fluoride they received during their twenties and thirties. But why do children need fluoride?
The Importance of Fluoridated Water for Children
Dr. Krepkh states that fluoride is important for children as bacteria in the mouth mix with sugars to produce acid, and this acid will soften tooth enamel, increasing their risk of cavities. Fluoride helps to harden tooth enamel, protecting teeth against tooth decay, and it can even help reverse some of the earliest signs of damage. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are all in agreement that drinking fluoridated water is an effective and safe way to prevent tooth decay. In addition, children can get fluoride from other sources at this mineral is found in many foods and drinks. Dr. Krepkh notes that ensuring your child has a balanced diet with plenty of calcium and Vitamin D is a great way to help keep their teeth healthy and strong, but sometimes fluoridated water and good nutrition is not enough.
Fluoride Treatments by Dr. Krepkh
This is why the Kid’s Dentistry Center assesses each child’s risk of tooth decay so an individual treatment plan can be created by Dr. Krepkh or another of our excellent pediatric dentists. So what can be done for children with a higher risk of tooth decay?
Luckily quite a bit, as Dr. Krepkh can use topical fluoride treatments to harden children’s teeth. These can be applied using a mouthguard that is filled with fluoride gel and left in the child’s mouth for a couple of minutes, or fluoride varnish can be painted onto the teeth and left to take effect overnight. Afterwards it can be simply brushed off at home the next morning. Another option is to use professional strength fluoride mouthwash which is given in the dental office. All your child will need to do is to swill the mouthwash around their mouth for a minute before spitting out the excess.
Using Fluoridated Products at Home
While fluoride is great for protecting young teeth, it is important to monitor your child’s use of fluoridated products at home. Ask Dr. Krepkh about the use of fluoridated toothpaste for very young children, and it is only necessary to use a tiny smear of paste when they are very young as they do not have the ability to spit. When they are old enough, encourage them to spit out excess toothpaste rather than swallow it, and keep fluoride mouthwash out of reach in case they feel like taking a drink.
If you are confused about the use of fluoride or have further questions, then please feel free to ask Dr. Krepkh or any member of our dental team for professional advice.
Kids Best Dentist Brooklyn NYC
Dr. Marina Krepkh
7708 4th Avenue 1st floor
Brooklyn, NY 11209 (Bay Ridge)