If you've ever looked at the ingredients list on your toothpaste, looked at your community's water report or talked to your children's pediatric dentist in Roanoke, you've probably heard of fluoride, but you may not fully understand exactly what it is. Fluoride is mineral that is used to help prevent and even reverse the process of tooth decay.
Every day, the bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugar and carbohydrates on your teeth, producing acid in the process. This acid gradually wears away at your teeth in a process called demineralization. Fluoride helps harden and strengthen the teeth through a process called remineralization.
Who Should Have Additional Fluoride?
While nearly everyone can benefit from the fluoride added to toothpastes and drinking water, some groups are at an increased risk of tooth decay and may therefore need to receive additional fluoride, usually in the form of a supplement or treatment. These groups include children ages six months to sixteen years of age, people who have an increased risk of cavities and decay, and people who don't have fluoride added to their drinking water. Your child's Roanoke pediatric dentist at Hunting Hills Family Dentistry can let you know if your children are at an increased risk.
How Do Children Receive Fluoride?
Whether you realize it or not, your children probably receives small doses of fluoride every day from a number of sources. Fluoride is very commonly found in many brands of toothpaste and mouthwash, it is frequently applied during routine visits with a Roanoke pediatric dentist, and it is even added to the drinking water of many communities.
Is Fluoride Safe?
While there is some concern about giving too much fluoride to very young children, fluoride has repeatedly been proven safe and effective when it is used appropriately. Concerns include the fact that fluoride can stain and discolor the teeth or even prove toxic when consumed in very large doses. These cases are very rare, however, and should not be a cause for concern. The risk of developing cavities without fluoride is much, much greater than the risk of developing any complications because of it.
Fluoride supplements and treatments are a safe and effective way to keep your children's teeth strong and healthy in between visits to their pediatric dentist in Roanoke. If you have any questions or concerns about fluoride and its effects on your children, feel free to us at Hunting Hills Family Dentistry. We'd love to discuss your children's treatment options with you!