Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that plays a crucial role in tooth development and preventing tooth decay. In fact, fluoride is so important that it's infused into tap water in many communities at a density of .70 parts per million (ppm) - something that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has called one of the most significant health achievements of the 20th century.
Some communities don't have fluoridated water, though - and if that's the case for you, we may recommend using a fluoride gel or fluoridated toothpaste. It's important for children to get enough of this vital mineral, as it plays an important role in their dental development.
How Fluoride Works
At almost any given moment, the protective outer enamel of your teeth is being attacked by acids. These can come from foods like sodas or citrus, or they can come from bacteria, which break down sugar into acid. If bacteria accumulate enough and make enough acid, it can eventually break through the enamel, causing a cavity. Fluoride, however, binds to enamel and strengthens it, even repairing some small cavities before they get too serious.
Children can ingest fluoride in drinking water and use it in their developing permanent teeth, and once teeth have erupted, topical fluoride gels can strengthen them. One method is using fluoridated toothpaste - in general, we recommend using a pea-sized amount for 2-6 year-olds, and just a small smear for children under 2 years old. Additionally, your child can receive a topical fluoride application in our office. We'll paint the gel onto their freshly cleaned teeth and let it sit for a few minutes, maximizing its effectiveness.
Schedule a Visit Today!
Good dental habits are best established by an early age, and Growing Smiles is excited to be a part of such an important milestone in your child’s life. With offices in Richmond, St. Clair Shores, and Chesterfield, we're just a hop, skip, and a jump away! You can also request an appointment online. We look forward to taking care of your child's beautiful smile!