Over the past two decades, the number of children with tooth decay has been on the decline: This drop can be attributed to the use of fluoride toothpastes, regular fluoride treatments and the consumption of fluoridated drinking water.
Fluoride Treatments are Extremely Beneficial as Teeth Develop
According to American Dental Association (ADA), it is during the developmental period that the teeth benefit the most from fluoride treatments. Therefore, pediatricians and dentists recommend that children receive fluoride treatments every six months from the time they turn 6 months old until they reach the age of 16. In addition, healthychildren.org states that fluoride should be added to your child’s diet when he/she reaches 6 months old.
The Benefits of Fluoride
– Strengthens the Enamel
Our mouths contain bacteria. This bacteria feeds on the food particles and sugar in our mouths. The acid the bacteria produces during digestion eats away at the enamel. The enamel is the hard, outer shell of the tooth; whereas, the dentin that lies beneath is rather soft. Once the protective layer of enamel wears away, the dentin becomes susceptible to decay. Fluoride strengthens the enamel, making it more resistant to the damaging acids created by the bacteria.
– Teeth Become More Resistant to Damage
Fluoride strengthens the enamel, making it naturally resistant to chips, cracks and decay. In addition, your child will enjoy a happy, healthy smile.
– Helps Remineralize the Teeth
Besides preventing cavities, fluoride can reverse early signs of decay through remineralization. During fluoride treatments, the teeth are encouraged to replace lost minerals with minerals that are present in the saliva. Once the repair is complete, the enamel on that particular area is stronger than it was before the enamel was damaged. While fluoride treatments are unable to completely repair a deep cavity, these treatments can slow the progression of decay.
At Sunshine Smiles, we provide dental care for infants, children, adolescents and individuals with special needs. Both of our pediatric dentists strive for excellence and are Diplomates of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. If you are looking for a pediatric dentist in central Florida, contact our office today at 321-622-6255 to schedule an appointment.