Fluoride is beneficial for dental health because it helps to restore tooth enamel that may have been weakened, slowing down the loss of essential minerals from the enamel. Fluoride applications can help reverse the first signs of tooth decay and inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth.
When your child first visits our dental practice, we can assess their dental health and make sure they receive an adequate amount of fluoride while their teeth are developing. We can also discuss the use of fluoride toothpaste and other fluoridated products that might be appropriate, such as mouthwash. If we are concerned your child isn’t receiving enough fluoride or feel their dental health will benefit from additional fluoride, we may suggest fluoride treatments.
Jetty Road Dental Clinic can provide professional strength fluoride treatments that are safe and effective. This preventive dental care treatment is entirely painless and non-invasive, and quick to provide. We may prescribe fluoride supplements but often provide fluoride topically in the form of a gel or varnish. Fluoride gel is provided in mouth trays, and your child will simply need to wear the mouth tray for several minutes while the fluoride penetrates their teeth. Fluoride varnish is painted onto teeth. It can be left on teeth for several hours, or we may recommend leaving it on overnight before brushing your child’s teeth.
A child can have too much fluoride, so we suggest storing fluoridated dental products out of reach, but generally, fluoride is very safe, and a child would need to eat a lot of toothpaste for it to be harmful. When your child brushes their teeth with fluoride toothpaste, make sure you teach them to spit out the excess rather than swallowing it. We may advise using non-fluoridated toothpaste for very young children who cannot spit out the excess, or otherwise only using a tiny smear of toothpaste.
Children who do receive too much fluoride, perhaps because they are drinking heavily fluoridated water, can develop dental fluorosis. The condition is completely harmless but can result in teeth developing white flecks or brown stains over their teeth in more severe cases.