Posted on Nov 20, 2015
None of us want our children to get cavities, and we all do whatever we can to prevent that from happening. But many parents don’t know that fluoride is an easy way to provide additional protection to your child’s teeth!
What is fluoride?
Fluoride is a natural compound that comes from the element, fluorine, which can help reverse early signs of tooth decay and even prevent cavities from forming. The bacteria that feeds on the plaque inside our mouths produces acid, which eats away at healthy tooth enamel. Fluoride prevents this acid from damaging enamel by actually re-mineralizing the outer layers of the teeth.
How much fluoride should my child get?
You may not know this, but around 60 percent of Americans have fluoridated tap water in their households. This has always been the easiest way for everyone to get the proper amount of fluoride to protect his or her teeth. You should be doing research about the tap water in your area, as most tap water should contain between 0.7 and 1.2 ppm (ppm stands for parts fluoride per million parts of water). If the water in your area doesn’t contain enough, there are ways to supplement fluoride in your child’s diet. This can come from bottled water (check the label!), or toothpastes and rinses that can also contain fluoride. But be sure to ask your child’s dentist how much they should be getting – recommended fluoride consumption depends on your child’s age, size and other factors.
The best way to help prevent cavities (in addition to fluoride!) is to make sure you’re bringing your child in for regular cleanings and exams. Call Firestone Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics to schedule an appointment.