You know to look for a fluoridated toothpaste to help prevent tooth decay and keep your child’s teeth strong. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, the outer layer of teeth.
Our team at Penguin Pediatrics, consisting of Dr. Umesh Kodu and Dr. Andrea McKennon, also recommends topical fluoride treatments to ensure your child is getting enough fluoride. They apply the fluoride gel at a routine visit.
Fluoride doesn’t completely prevent cavities, but it does help your child maintain good dental health. This is especially true if you encourage healthy oral hygiene habits.
Strong, healthy teeth do a lot for your child’s long-term health and comfort. Here are three more trickle-down effects of fluoride treatments.
About 50% of children have periodontal (or gum) disease. Fluoride treatments can help your child avoid being part of this statistic.
Fluoride strengthens the outer enamel, but it’s also an antimicrobial. This means it kills the harmful bacteria in your mouth that can lead to gum disease.
If your child develops gum disease, they may notice bleeding when they brush or floss. Their teeth may become loose or separate more than normal. Their gums recede and they develop bad breath.
Preventing gum disease is smart because poor gum health can lead to pain and tooth loss. Treatment is available for gum disease, but it’s uncomfortable and costly. If your child’s gum disease progresses, they may need deep cleaning and surgery.
While a fluoride treatment can’t guarantee your child will maintain good oral health for the rest of their life, it does give them a positive start. Poor oral health, tooth decay, and gum disease contribute to various diseases and health conditions.
When they care for their teeth throughout their entire life, they reduce their risk of developing heart infections, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, pneumonia, and even Alzheimer’s disease.
Fluoride treatments also send your child the message that tooth care is important.
If your child has cavities, tooth decay, or weak tooth enamel, they may not be able to eat certain foods comfortably. Nuts, raw vegetables and fruits, and other healthy, crunchy or chewy foods may fall off their menu. As a result, they’ll miss out on important nutrients that are critical to their proper growth and development.
Fruits and vegetables should be half of what your child eats each day. Grains, low-fat dairy, lean proteins, and healthy fats are other important parts of your child’s diet. Healthy teeth promoted by fluoride treatments make it easier for your child to enjoy their nutritious meals.
Fluoride treatments used for the prevention and control of tooth decay are safe and effective. But the use of fluoride should be monitored and is best applied by professionals, like our pediatric specialists. Too much fluoride can lead to fluorosis, which causes white streaks on the teeth.
For the simple application, we paint the fluoride gel onto your child’s teeth. It hardens as it comes into contact with saliva. It may have a slightly sour taste, but the treatment is quick and pain-free.
To find out more about fluoride treatments or to schedule an appointment for your child, call one of the offices of Penguin Pediatrics in Ashburn or Stone Ridge, Virginia, or use the online booking tool to schedule your visit.