Are you contemplating fluoride treatments for your children in Columbia, Maryland? As you’re considering this, keep in mind that children should come in for a dental checkup every six months—even if they only have baby teeth. During a regular dental checkup, your children’s dentist may recommend a fluoride treatment. Once recommended, you can consider that procedure. It’s not often that a dental office will agree to perform a fluoride treatment on a patient, adult or child, without performing a checkup to make sure that it’s needed.
A regular checkup will also reveal any cavities and will include talking to the patient about oral hygiene habits like brushing and flossing. These checkups are also important for children as they help prevent dental anxiety later in life. Searching for pediatric dentistry services in Columbia, Maryland? Reach out to Dr. Parisa Parizadeh and Dr. Michael Hsu at Columbia Smiles today. You can call 410.690.4855 or contact our team online.
What Is Child Fluoride Treatment?
A fluoride treatment involves the application of topical fluoride to the teeth by a dentist. While typical fluoride treatments use a foam or gel in a fluoride tray that a patient bites into, sometimes a varnish is used for younger patients. The dentist can simply paint the varnish on a child’s teeth after they undergo dental cleaning. The fluoride treatment procedure is painless and takes only a few minutes.
Applying the varnish is faster and more well-tolerated by children than using a fluoride tray. It’s also appropriate for younger patients because the varnish hardens when it comes into contact with saliva. This means that children won’t swallow the varnish or be able to lick it off their teeth—but they do need to wait about a half hour before drinking or eating and six hours before brushing their teeth.
Why Is Fluoride for Teeth Important?
Child fluoride treatment is important because fluoride is nature’s cavity fighter. Fluoride, a natural mineral, helps prevent cavities in both adults and children by making the enamel on the surface of the teeth stronger and more resistant to the acid attacks that cause tooth decay.
Even before the teeth break through the gums, the fluoride taken in from foods, beverages, and dietary supplements makes enamel stronger. Fluoride can be found in both healthy and unhealthy foods. Fluoride is usually in the following:
- Artificial sweeteners
- Baby food
- Broths and stews
- Coffee and tea
- Flavored popsicles
- Grape products like raisins and grape juice
Fluoride is also usually added to public drinking water supplied to about three out of every four Americans. The decision on whether or not to add fluoride to drinking water is made at the local or state level. The types of fluoride added to different water systems include fluorosilicic acid, sodium fluoride, and sodium fluorosilicate.
After teeth erupt, fluoride helps rebuild or remineralize weakened enamel. It can even reverse early signs of tooth decay.
When you brush your teeth with toothpaste containing fluoride or use other dental products containing it, the fluoride is applied to the surface of your teeth.
When Should You Consider Pediatric Dentistry Services for Your Child?
If a child has their first tooth, or if they’re older than 12 months, it’s time to start scheduling a regular diagnostic dental checkup every six months. Dentists may recommend fluoride for teeth after these checkups along with other preventative dental procedures.
Learn More About Fluoride Treatments for Children at Columbia Smiles
If you’re looking for pediatric dentistry services in Columbia, Maryland, contact Columbia Smiles today. You can call 410.690.4855 or reach out to our team online.