Fluoride Treatment for Kids
Good oral hygiene practices are important for everyone, including kids. Just like you, your child should be brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day. However, kids often have a more difficult time brushing and flossing properly, which leaves them vulnerable to tooth decay and cavities. At North Atlanta Family Dentistry, we can help to protect the health of their teeth with fluoride treatments.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a naturally occurring element in teeth. It functions to strengthen the teeth, keeping them safe from the acid attacks that cause decay and cavities. In children, fluoride is also essential for the development of the adult teeth. During the day, a process called demineralization causes fluoride and other minerals to be leached from the teeth, weakening them. At the same time, remineralization also occurs. This is the process of replacing fluoride and other minerals to help keep the teeth strong and healthy. There are a few ways remineralization can occur.
Fluoride can be replaced in your teeth through treated tap water. It is found in trace amounts in certain foods. It can be replaced through fluoridated oral care products like toothpaste and mouthwash. Fluoride can also be replaced with professional fluoride treatments.
How Fluoride Protects Teeth
Fluoride is an essential element that helps to protect the tooth enamel from the acids produced by plaque and bacteria. It provides the enamel with strength, preventing the formation of decay and cavities. Fluoride works with the other minerals in your teeth, including calcium and phosphate. It works with these minerals to create a very powerful defense system, keeping the teeth strong and healthy.
In addition to protecting the teeth from decay and cavities, it is also important for the development of healthy adult teeth in children. The fluoride that is consumed, such as the fluoride in treated tap water, absorbs into the bloodstream. It combines with the calcium and phosphate found in the teeth developing below the gum line. This helps to ensure that the adult teeth are strong and healthy, and can defend against acid attacks as they erupt through the gums.
Fluoride Treatment for Kids
A good oral hygiene routine is essential for your child to prevent against decay and cavities. It is recommended that your child brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. However, we understand that it can be difficult for children to brush and floss properly. Children also may be more resistant to brushing and flossing, trying to skip out on these important habits or do them as quickly as possible. These factors greatly increase the risk for tooth decay and cavities.
We can help to further protect the teeth with fluoride treatments. Fluoride treatments are quick and painless. After the teeth have been cleaned, we paint on a fluoride gel. The fluoride absorbs directly into the tooth enamel where it goes to work immediately strengthening the teeth. The gel does not need to be wiped or washed away. It is recommended, however, that your child abstains from eating or drinking anything for 30 minutes following the application.
While fluoride treatments are effective for protecting the teeth against decay and cavities, it is important to remember that these are only an additional preventative measure. They are only effective if you continue to work with your child to keep brushing and flossing their teeth properly.
Fluoride treatments help your child avoid the development of tooth decay and cavities, protecting the health of their mouth. For more information, and to find out if fluoride treatments are right for your child, call North Atlanta Family Dentistry at (470) 387-0500 today.