Fluoride & Your Teeth

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Premier Dental Care the Whole Family 

Pediatric dentistry smiling girlAs your trusted choice for a pediatric or family dentist in Spring Lake, MI, we at Arbutante Dental strive to do all we can to set your child up to have a healthy smile for life. We’re proud to offer a wide variety of general treatments and preventive dentistry procedures in order to help make sure that your child’s teeth stay as healthy as possible. One such treatment that we’re able to provide in our Spring Lake, MI office is the application of fluoride.

What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that’s vital for both proper tooth development and the prevention of tooth decay. While tooth decay is a significant problem, it’s nowhere near as prevalent as it would be without the fluoridation of water supplies. Fluoridated water has been considered to be one of the most significant health achievements in the 20th century.

How Fluoride Can Help

The outer layer of your child’s teeth, known as the enamel, is repeatedly under attack from acids. These acids can come directly from acidic foods and beverages (which can include sodas and citrus fruits) or they can come from decay-causing bacteria in the mouth that create acid from sugar. When the bacteria break down sugar that isn’t cleaned from your child’s mouth, they will produce acids that will begin to erode the tooth enamel. When fluoride is applied to your child’s teeth, it will become part of the crystalline structure of the tooth enamel and make it harder and more resistant to any acid attacks. Fluoride can also even repair tiny cavities that are starting to form.

How Fluoride Is Applied to the Teeth

 
Correct amount of toothpaste for children.There are a few common ways that fluoride is applied to the teeth. The first is, as previously mentioned, by consuming fluoridated water. However, not everyone has access to fluoridated water, which is why we sometimes recommend other fluoride supplements for children. A fluoride-containing toothpaste is one way to guarantee that your children’s teeth get enough fluoride exposure. Make sure that only a tiny smear or pea-sized amount is used for your child to brush with. Another beneficial way to receive fluoride is through our very own topical fluoride applications we perform in our office. We’ll paint the fluoride right onto your child’s cleaned teeth and let it sit for a few minutes in order to achieve the most effectiveness.

Is There a Risk to Having Too Much Fluoride?

When teeth are over-exposed to fluoride, a condition can develop that’s known as enamel fluorosis. This condition is characterized by a mottled or streaked appearance. While mild fluorosis can take the form of white spots that are harder to see, more severe cases of fluorosis can feature darker discoloration with a pitted texture. Severe cases are rare and the condition as a whole isn’t harmful, though it may eventually require cosmetic dental treatment.

By the time a child is about nine years old and all the permanent teeth have formed, the risk of fluorosis ends. Until that time, we’ll be more than happy to discuss the amount of fluoride that your child needs. We can take into account all sources of fluoride that your child is getting and make an appropriate recommendation.

Contact Your Spring Lake, MI Pediatric Dentist Today!

If you’re looking to schedule an appointment with your Spring Lake, MI family dentist, please feel free to fill out our online appointment request form or give us a call at (616) 842-0090. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, comments, or concerns. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

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