Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in the earth’s crust, water, and even vegetation. It’s well-known for its ability to strengthen tooth enamel, which is the hard, outer surface of our teeth. Fluoride works by promoting the process of remineralization, where minerals are deposited back onto the tooth enamel after being stripped away by acids produced by plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth.

How can fluoride help my child? What’s the best way to ensure he or she is getting enough fluoride? And how do I know how much is too much?

The Benefits of Fluoride for Children

  • Prevents Tooth Decay: Fluoride makes the tooth structure stronger and more resistant to decay. It helps to prevent cavities by reducing the ability of the bacteria in the mouth to produce acid.
  • Reverses Early Decay: In the early stages of tooth decay, fluoride can repair or reverse the process. It aids in the remineralization of tooth enamel, replacing the minerals that have been lost due to acid attacks.
  • Supports Healthy Tooth Development: Fluoride is particularly beneficial for children as their teeth are developing. It gets incorporated into the permanent teeth during their development, making it difficult for acids to demineralize the teeth.

The Recommended Amount of Fluoride for Children

When using fluoride, it is important to use the correct amount. Too much fluoride creates a risk of dental fluorosis, a condition that can cause discoloration or pitting on the tooth surface. The correct amount of fluoride depends on a child’s age. Here are general recommendations:

  • Infants and Babies: As soon as teeth begin to emerge, brush them with a child-sized toothbrush and a minimal amount (the size of a grain of rice) of fluoride toothpaste twice daily.
  • Children Aged 3-6: Use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to brush their teeth twice a day.
  • Children Aged 6 and above: Continue using fluoride toothpaste, ensuring your child is using a small amount each time they brush their teeth.

Fluoride, when used correctly and in the appropriate amounts, can play a vital role in maintaining your child’s oral health. However, it’s always wise to consult with a pediatric dentist or a pediatrician to understand the best approach for your child’s specific needs.

Contact Us For Fluoride Information

Our dental team at Tahquitz Dental Group is pleased to help answer any questions you may have about fluoride use and treatments for your little ones. Contact us today!

Schedule a Consultation