Keeping your child’s teeth and gums healthy can often seem like an impossibly daunting task. Brushing, rinsing, flossing, after all, usually aren’t at the top of child’s to-do list. It takes building healthy lifestyle habits and a lot of positive reinforcement and monitoring. Even under the best of circumstances, though, your child may still be getting cavities. If you’re wondering what more you can do for your child’s dental health, then you may want to consider the value of topical fluoride treatments.
Fluoride Treatments For Your Child’s Dental Health
With children who are prone to tooth decay, cutting sweets to a minimum and the best oral hygiene may still not be enough to prevent cavities. That’s not what parents want to hear, but the good news is that there is another measure you can take to help decrease your child’s cavity rate.
It’s called fluoride treatments, and they’re done at your local dentist office.
You can give your local dentist a call today to schedule an examination of your child’s teeth to determine if fluoride is an applicable treatment.
What Are Fluoride Treatments?
You probably already know that some water sources and toothpastes have fluoride added. Professional fluoride treatments are a concentrated mixture that’s much stronger than that of toothpastes and fluorinated drinking water.
The topical mixture comes in gel, varnish, or foam, and it is applied directly to the teeth at your dentist’s office. Different dentists prefer different applications. Of course, your child’s age will also help determine the most appropriate application.
What Do Fluoride Treatments Do?
Whether applied as a foam, gel, or varnish, all three methods will deliver a high dose of fluoride straight to the teeth. It’s a short-term delivery of high concentrate. The infusion of fluoride strengthens the enamel on the teeth, which makes the teeth less prone to decay.
Research has proven that topical fluoride is highly effective at reducing the rate and risk of cavities in children, particularly those who are at high risk or incidence of tooth decay. Fluoride treatments have even been shown to reverse decay in its early stages.
Such evidence has led the American Dental Association to recommend fluoride treatments for all children seven-years-old and up. These treatments have shown amazing results amongst high risk groups of children, such as children with disabilities and children with a family history of dental caries.
Do Fluoride Treatments Have Health Risks?
Fluoride in large, long-term quantities has its own set of research. Medical experts concur that the main long-term hazard of high concentrate fluoride is a condition known as fluorosis. This is a purely cosmetic issue that occurs whist permanent teeth are forming. It can cause mild to severe staining, but it doesn’t actually harm the structure of the teeth.
Fluorosis is mainly a problem when fluoride supplementation exceeds the recommended amount. With professional care from a dentist correctly applying topical fluoride at the appropriate intervals, the risk of fluorosis is minimal.
Fluoride treatments have been designed to taste pleasant so that young children are more willing to comply with treatment. That said, there’s a short term risk when the child swallows too much during the procedure. As with any substance, there’s always the risk of a reaction. The most common side effects in this case would be upset stomach, gastrointestinal pain, nausea and vomiting, and headache.
Again, such unwanted side effects can be avoided by carefully selecting your pediatric dentist. Before scheduling the fluoride treatment, ask your dentist what precautions are taken. Does the dentist, for example, use isolation measures like dental dams to prevent the child from swallowing the fluoride?
The bottom line is that topical fluoride is quite effective and safe at helping your child prevent cavities when it’s delivered by a professional in the right way and frequency. It’s a strong proactive parenting step toward your child enjoying excellent dental health for the rest of their life.
Contact Forestwood Dental Today To Learn More About Pediatric Fluoride Treatments
If you’re worried or concerned about your child’s dental health, then please give us a call today. We would love the opportunity to help you and discuss all your child’s treatment options at an appointment or consultation.