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Myths and Facts About Flouride for Children

Myths and Facts About Flouride for Children

You want the very best for your child’s wellness, and this includes their oral health. You faithfully brush their teeth or cleanse their gums to prevent cavities and foster good hygiene habits.

Experts explain how to brush baby teeth and tell you to always choose toothpaste with fluoride to help keep your child’s teeth healthy. Other sources of fluoride are also important to your child’s oral wellness, especially when your child’s teeth are developing.

At Penguin Pediatrics, Dr. Umesh Kodu and Dr. Andrea McKennon offer fluoride treatments to enhance your child’s oral health. If you’re concerned about your child getting too much fluoride or the effects small amounts have on your child’s development and health, read on. We separate fact from fiction when it comes to fluoride for children.

Myth: Fluoride isn’t important

FACT: Fluoride is an important step in tooth health. It helps stop cavities from forming on your teeth by rebuilding the enamel and protecting the surfaces from bacteria and acid that leads to decay. It’s natural, and isn’t a man made product.

Fluoride significantly reduces your child’s chance of developing cavities and losing teeth. Your child needs their baby teeth to maintain their mouth structure, to learn to speak properly, and to chew foods for adequate nutrition. 

Myth: Fluoride isn’t safe

FACT: Fluoridated toothpaste is incredibly safe and important for tooth health. Fluoride also poses no danger when added to drinking water. Major health organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Dental Association have affirmed that fluoridated water is safe and can help prevent tooth decay.

Small amounts of fluoride-containing toothpaste is important and safe for children to use once their first tooth appears. Use just a smear and then graduate to a pea-sized dollop once your child turns 3.

MYTH: Fluoride treatments aren’t necessary

FACT: While fluoride treatments offered at our office are optional, they are an essential in slowing down or preventing tooth decay. We can start to apply fluoride to your child’s teeth when they’re 6 months old. The treatments continue at well-child visits two times per year until your child reaches age 3. 

One caveat: Children who are younger than 6 months old, breastfed babies, and babies fed infant formula do not require fluoride treatments.

MYTH: Fluoride treatments will cause my child to develop white spots on their teeth

FACT: Fluorosis occurs when a child gets too much fluoride. It appears as faint white streaks or spots on the teeth. Mild cases of fluorosis don’t cause pain and don’t have any impact on teeth. Most cases aren’t even noticeable except to a dentist during a dental exam. Once a child’s adult teeth come in (around age 8), they are no longer at risk of developing fluorosis.

Your children’s oral health is critical to their overall well-being and development. Get them the fluoride treatments that set them up for strong teeth and reduce their risk of cavities. Call one of our offices in Ashburn or Stone Ridge, Virginia, or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.

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