Did you know dental cavities are the most common disease in children and adults worldwide? Fluoride is one of the best and safest ways we can prevent cavities.
There’s a lot of conversation around fluoride. Is it good, is it bad? How much should my child take? When should they begin? We’re here to help!
Here’s how fluoride works. Your mouth contains bacteria, which produces acid that can wear away the hard, outer shell of your enamel and cause cavities. Fluoride protects teeth by making them stronger and more resistant to acid. It not only reduces the risk of cavities, but can reverse early signs of decay.
Is fluoride in my water safe for my child? Absolutely! Not only is this a great beverage choice for children that does not have added sugars, but helps protect teeth. Also keep in mind – fluoride is natural. It is an element found at some level in all natural water sources. Fluoridated water that comes from a community’s water supply has been properly measured to ensure your child will not consume more than they should.
We use toothpaste with fluoride, should we also drink fluoridated water? We absolutely recommend it. Drinking water with fluoride bathes your teeth in small amounts of fluoride throughout the day AND helps prevent cavities before they start.
When should my child start using fluoride toothpaste? To keep your baby’s mouth clean, we recommend using a soft washcloth to wipe their gums clean. Once their first tooth breaks through, begin brushing them with a soft, child-sized toothbrush with a drop of fluoride toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice). It’s important to begin using the fluoride on the exposed tooth, but just enough that your child can’t swallow it. Once your child is old enough to spit after brushing, you can increase the amount of toothpaste to a pea-size amount.
With that said, do not worry too much if your child swallows toothpaste if you are using the recommended amount for your child’s age. Fluoride toothpaste is recommended for babies and toddlers by the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association of Pediatric Dentistry, and the American Dental Association.