As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” What a great motto when it comes to kids dentistry and maintaining a healthy smile! Being a proactive parent can help keep your child’s teeth strong and healthy in the long run since it’s way more cost-effective than filling cavities.
Can You Guarantee No Cavities For Your Child?
There really isn’t any way to guarantee your child won’t get a cavity, but here are some steps you can take to help. Of course, a great place to begin to have a regular brushing and flossing routine daily and to schedule a professional cleaning every six months for your child. Brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day are the current recommendations for ideal home care from the American Dental Association. Another small step, that goes a long way to help prevent childhood tooth decay is to partner with your pediatric dentist and be sure your child has a professional fluoride treatment at your child’s cleaning appointment.
The Scoop on Fluoride
So what’s fluoride? How does it help prevent cavities? Fluoride is a mineral that is found in naturally on earth. It is found in many water sources, vegetables, leafy greens, and nuts. Fluoride works in two ways: Internal fluoride becomes incorporated into developing teeth to make them stronger and more resistant to decay. This is why fluoride is added to most public water supplies or your pediatrician may recommend fluoride supplements for your child. Topical fluoride is found in small amounts in toothpaste to make teeth already present in your child’s mouth stronger and more resistant to decay.
What Is A Fluoride Treatment?
A fluoride treatment given in a pediatric dental office is more concentrated than the topical fluoride found in toothpaste and over-the-counter mouth rinse. After your child’s dental exam and prophylaxis (cleaning), the outer enamel of the tooth is clean so we want to incorporate fluoride into that clean outer enamel to make it even stronger and more resistant to decay. Evidence-based studies show that a lower incidence of cavities are seen in children when a professional fluoride treatment is applied on a regular basis, particularly if their family is at moderate to high risk for dental caries.
During a fluoride treatment, foam fluoride is carefully placed on the child’s teeth for a few minutes. Suction is then used along with your child spitting out any remaining fluoride gel in the sink. This ensures that they do not swallow any significant amount of fluoride. Once the fluoride is removed, it is advised that a child doesn’t rinse, eat or drink anything, including water, for about 30 minutes. This gives the fluoride time to soak into the enamel and do its work. It’s that simple! Think of a fluoride treatment as giving your super-hero a super power to fight tooth decay!
Contact us today for further questions about your child’s teeth and fluoride or to make your child’s appointment with “Dr. Jeff”. Call 914-245-1670 or go to www.drjeffdentist4kids.com to schedule their appointment.