Welcome, Dr. Lauren Heisinger to the Where Smiles Grow Family. Click here to read more!

Specializing in dentistry for infants, children & adolescents.

The Role of Fluoride in Children’s Oral Health

portrait of happy smiling little girl

Proper dental care is essential to healthy growth and development for children, and oral health plays a significant role in overall health! One main element that is extremely important in maintaining good oral health is fluoride. Fluoride is a necessary component in an oral care routine and is proven to be highly effective in preventing tooth decay and maintaining strong and healthy teeth.

What is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that can be found in water, soil, plants, and rocks. It helps to strengthen tooth enamel, the hard exterior layer of teeth, which protects your teeth from acid and bacteria build up. Fluoride is in toothpaste, mouthwash, and in some areas is added to the water supplies as it is beneficial in maintaining a healthy smile!

As children are still growing and developing, their baby teeth and adult teeth are not as strong as fully developed adult teeth, making them more susceptible to tooth decay. Tooth decay can cause significant pain and even permanent damage.

How Does Fluoride Protect Children’s Teeth?

– Fluoride can remineralize weakened enamel and helps to rebuild and strengthen it. This protects against cavities forming and causing tooth decay.

– It also helps to rid their mouths of bacteria and prevent overgrowth by promoting healthy saliva production. Saliva helps to wash away food and bacteria.

– Proper fluoride intake in growing children helps during the formation of permanent teeth and can be the foundation for strong and healthy teeth in the future.

– Tooth sensitivity can also be reduced with adequate fluoride consumption.

How Do I Ensure My Child Gets Enough Fluoride?

– Some water districts contain a safe amount of fluoride. Drinking tap water is a great way to help your children get fluoride. Speak to you dentist if you know your water does not contain fluoride, and ask them about fluoride supplements, they will recommend the best choices for your child.

– Pick a children’s toothpaste that contains fluoride. A small pea-sized amount of toothpaste is recommended for children under the age of 3 years of age and

older, under 3 we recommend a rice grain size of toothpaste. Please remember

to squish the toothpaste into the bristles before brushing so the paste won’t

accidentally be swallowed at the beginning. It’s important to supervise brush times to ensure your child is not swallowing all their toothpaste. Fluoride is safe, and beneficial in proper doses, but can be harmful if consumed in improper/high doses.

– At your child’s regular checkup, their dentist may apply fluoride treatment in the form of a varnish, gel, or foam to provide an extra boost of protection for their teeth.

Schedule An Appointment with Our Where Smiles Grow Team!

Fluoride is an essential part of a healthy oral care routine, and getting the proper amount is critical in protecting children’s teeth and overall health. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, reduces bacteria growth, promotes healthy tooth development and more. Contact our team today to learn more about fluoride and the role it should play in your child’s dental health!