Fluoride is a special form of the element fluorine, and it helps protect your child’s teeth by attracting minerals like calcium and phosphates to your child’s enamel. This reverses the damage done by oral bacteria and acid, strengthening the teeth and protecting them from cavities.
Fluoride treatments at our office are recommended for every patient. Dr. Sholander can apply fluoride to your child’s teeth to strengthen the enamel, prevent cavities, and keep their teeth healthy as they grow. Contact us now for a consultation.
Fluoride is completely safe when used properly. No reputable scientific studies have shown any negative effects or health issues caused by fluoride use.
Fluoride treatments are usually part of a routine six-month visit at our office. Your child’s treatment will begin with x-rays, if necessary, then a hygienist will clean their teeth. After this, Dr. Sholander will examine their mouth and make sure their teeth are healthy.
After your child’s cleaning and exam, a thin layer of fluoride varnish will be painted onto their teeth and left in place. This only takes a few minutes.
It’s best to avoid eating or drinking anything for 30 minutes after fluoride treatment. This lets the fluoride “sit” on your child’s teeth for a longer period of time, providing better overall results.
Typically, fluoride treatments are recommended every six months for kids. This provides plenty of protection and helps keep their teeth healthy. In addition, almost all dental plans for kids cover two yearly fluoride treatments, so this helps you make the most of your dental insurance.
However, some children may need more frequent treatments if they’re very cavity-prone. Dr. Sholander will discuss the proper treatment interval with you during your child’s appointment at Harmony Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics.
The most important thing to do is to make sure they’re brushing their teeth twice per day with fluoride toothpaste. When used daily, fluoride toothpaste does the same thing as a fluoride treatment. It attracts minerals to the teeth and helps protect them from decay.
Flossing once a day is also a good idea. Daily flossing helps remove bacteria, food particles, and other debris that can’t be washed away with brushing alone.
In addition, reduce or eliminate sugary drinks from your child’s routine. Sugary drinks like cola, sweetened tea, and juice are very bad for their oral health. It’s best for kids to drink water and milk, except on very special occasions.
Also, choose tap water over bottled water. Tap water is fortified with a small amount of fluoride, which helps keep their teeth healthy. It’s also cheaper than buying bottled or filtered water, so that’s another bonus.
Help your children maintain a healthy diet, too. Sugary drinks are a big cause of cavities, but so are processed sweet and salty snacks like candy, cookies, chips, and pretzels. Try to feed your kids wholesome foods like whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruit, lean meat, and healthy dairy products.
Kids laugh around 400 times per day.
You should brush your child’s teeth twice a day for two minutes until they’re 6 years old, or are able to tie their shoes on their own. After this, we recommend making brushing a family activity. You can demonstrate proper technique to your children, and make sure they’re brushing regularly.
You will need to floss your child’s teeth for them until they’re about 10, since it’s a lot harder to learn proper flossing technique than it is to learn proper brushing technique.
Flossing your child’s teeth will not be dissimilar to flossing your own. Depending on their age, you may need to find a toy or distraction to keep them entertained while you floss their teeth. Floss holders may be helpful for toddlers so they don’t bite your fingers. Just make sure you’re flossing between every two teeth that make contact and behind their most rear molar.
We recommend flossing your child’s teeth once per day, and having them rinse with water or mouthwash after flossing to remove any food particles that were dislodged during the process.
Healthy baby teeth are essential for your child to eat and chew properly, and damaged or decayed baby teeth can cause them a lot of pain and discomfort. Though they will fall out naturally as your child ages, your child’s baby teeth should remain in place until they fall out on their own, the last of which is typically around age 12. If they lose one or more teeth prematurely, this can affect their future oral development. This is because baby teeth help form the “paths” that the adult teeth follow when they emerge. If your child loses one or more baby teeth prematurely, this can lead to future oral development problems.
Yes. Almost every dental insurance plan covers preventive care, like six-month cleanings and exams, for dependents. Fluoride treatments and dental sealants may also be covered, in some cases. However, coverage for each insurer and dental plan varies, so we recommend consulting directly with your insurer to learn about coverage limits for pediatric preventive care, covered treatments, and other such information.
Around 85% of children see the dentist regularly.